It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group
Sometimes, the best writing lesson in the world propels my insecurities forward, because I should’ve known it, right? I did know it. It’s such a simple, basic lesson. Why didn’t I use it in my WIP?
I’ve been writing for over ten years. I have a dozen short stories and three novels published, and the number of my published newspaper articles is climbing towards 300, not counting self-publishing, so why do I sometimes still feel like a first grader?
Let me explain. I’m a subscriber to Jennifer Crusie’s blog ArghInc. Crusie is one of my favorite writers; I adore her books and I love her blog. When she started another blog, Writing Romance, specifically for writing lessons in romance genre, of course I subscribed to it. The lessons are great, concise and expressive, with Crusie’s typical dry wit, but every time a new lesson comes up on the blog, I think: why don’t I already employ this in my own writing? What she says is so obvious, almost common sense. Why do I still struggle with the concept in my current story?
One of the lessons was about conflict and characters. I read it and I thought: that’s why my story doesn’t work. I have to apply this particular lesson, find out what one of my characters wants, and who/what is standing in his way, but instead, I approached my story the same way I always do: intuitively, playing the whole tale in my mind like a movie for one and relishing the fruits of my imagination. Of course, it didn’t work. Now that I’m applying this lesson, the story started to shape up, but why didn’t I do it before? The lesson is not anything new. I was aware of it. Why didn’t I use it?
Does it happen to you? You know the theory but for some reason you don’t utilize it in your writing practice, until a clever teacher comes along and prods you into action?