Friday, October 7, 2016

Before and after


FIRST OFF:  NO CLASS NEXT WEEK, OCTOBER 14, 2016

Now, we left off last week with the moment that most stuck with us, the moment where we felt most conflict or feeling.  Now we want to set that moment up and to write what else happened.

Just to be clear, when your done, the moment that you originally wrote will be much longer.  You'll be adding to it.

But in order to bring people with you, and you do want to bring them, you need to walk them there.  You need to invite them in.  And you do that with a good set up.

So where did my story last week start?  Well, it needs to start at the house before we leave.

But where do I start and what do I add?

Writers of all types will give you a variety of answers, from beginning with the thoughts and feelings that will unify the effect of your writing later to writing only the details which one can observe.

My response is more in line with Anne Lamott's: Just write.

What you see and how you see it will come out.  Later, we'll make that more apparent.  But for now, just get it down.

Now, it behooves you to take a moment and gather those feelings you felt, to spread them before your mind's eye and then see the morning through that lens, but, in this draft, simply write.

A few practical tips for making this writing more helpful:

  1. Place it in the same document as the writing you began with if you're using a word processor or, if you prefer the analog method, make sure you have room on either side.  Using a loose leaf binder can be helpful.
  2. Allow yourself to write snippets.  You don't have to have a completely linear narrative yet.
  3. But place your snippets in a linear way in the document.  Move back and forth.  Leave lots of space.
  4. Don't feel you need to adhere to complete sentences yet.  Oftentimes, my memory is an assortment of images, smells, sounds--particularly if the memory is very full of emotion.  Don't feel that you need to domesticate these thoughts fully yet.  Getting them into phrases is enough.
  5. Walk away and come back as often as you need to if you hit a wall, OR if you find yourself in the groove, let it GO and just keep going.  Turn off the inner editor and write.
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