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Posts Tagged ‘writing process’


photo by Sorosh

Some writers work on more than one project at the time. But is it something for you?
Let’s take a closer look at that phenomena and see pros and cons.

Distraction

When Project A gives you problems, characters don’t want to co-operate and basically you’re stuck, it’s sometimes good to switch to something else. So Project B might be exactly what you need.
Allow your brain to take a break from one thing by distracting it with something different. And when Project B turns on you, you can easily go back to Project A. And so on and so forth.

On the other hand, if you don’t try to solve the problem you face with Project A right away, the break might not help at all. Also, it might take you some time to get in touch with the plot and the conflicts in your story. The feel of it might be gone. And what then?

Choice

Nobody can deny this. If you’re working on more than one project at the time, you always have a choice. You spend Monday working on Project A, but when you turn on your computer the next day, suddenly you decide to open the file with Project B. Three days later you switch to Project C. And you keep writing. You keep creating stories and it feels amazing.
What’s the disadvantage of that?

You also keep dividing your attention. You might be writing ten stories at the time and have ideas for another ten. But you might also find it easier to start another project than to finish one you’re already writing.

Too Much

While it might sound surreal, there really is something like writing too much. Especially if you spend everyday writing, switching between projects. Your brain, after working so hard for too long, might simply refuse to create anything new. And you’re facing a serious case of Writer’s Block (one you might not be able to deal easily with).

But if you’re not one to go into creative high and you are capable of keeping the ‘dosage’ on a reasonable level, then who knows. You might never experience ‘creative overdosing’ :).

There is also another type of writers. When presented with a choice (work on Project A, Project B or Project C), they are unable to make a final decision.
Because when they do, somewhere at the back of their head, something tells them that working on that other story would be a lot more productive. As a result, they can’t concentrate on the story they decided to write.

If you’re that kind of a person, then I’m very sorry. Multitasking is not for you.

Multitask or not?

Much like with sex, it’s a matter of personal preference. You can definitely try it out, see if it works for you.
I know writers who work on many project at the same time and others who faithfully still to one until it’s done. And in both cases the finished story is great. So even though their method differ, it’s the way the write.

Multitasking and dividing your attention might be something for you, but if not, it doesn’t make you any less of a writer.

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Lately I’ve been reading archives of Confessions of an English Gentleman. And it got me thinking.
I came to a conclusion that all writers are in the end in a bit toxic, D/s relationship with their muse. Please, bear with me as I explain.

Every writer works with some kind of a muse. I hope nobody can disagree on this one.
Sometimes it’s a person, sometimes an object and sometimes it’s simply an abstract ‘it’ which is there for us to blame everything on. Whatever it is for each writer, it inspires to create, helps to get through the difficult paragraphs, in some cases it mediates between the writer and the characters.

Now, there are two ways the relationship between the writer and the muse can work.

1. Muse says ‘jump’, Writer asks ‘how high’
I’m friends with quite a few writers and I’m a writer myself. And I noticed that this kind of relationship between Writer and Muse is the most common. Writer waits around until the Muse ‘hits him’ (with an idea that is sometimes called a ‘plot bunny’) and after that Writers sits down and starts writing like mad until S/He can’t think straight anymore.
It’s clearly a submissive kind of a writer.

If we were to paint a scene Muse would be this tall redhead with lips painted red. In a black leather corset, stockings and black high heel boot. Maybe even with a whip in her hand. And there in front of her, on his knees, would be a small skinny man almost naked, only in black boxerbriefs and a big collar. Looking up at his Mistress, worship clear in his eyes. Waiting for a one word. Only one word that would give him a sense of existance. “Write.”

This relationship, however common it is, poses quite a few difficulties. For one, it is very difficult to meet any kind of a deadline. One never knows when the need to write strikes and it might be days before an idea comes to you. Another drawback is that if you leave your story (be it an article, a novel or an essay) because your muse is not kind at the moment, said moment might turn into days, weeks and with time you’re no longer interested in completing the work. In those case it’s rare to come back to the story you’ve set aside. Because you and you muse moved on to something more interesting.

Sometime a submissive writers attempts to write with him muse around. Wanting to write short pieces or small paragraphs in the wait for his Muse to show up and let him commit a Great Piece everybody will praise.
The question is: assuming each good piece needs a blessing from the muse, is writing bunch of not-so-good stories worth it? Is a great author still ‘great’ if his track record looks like a bumpy road?
I suppose in this case it’s like with every D/s relationship. It all depends whether the Dom, in this case our Muse, is a good and generous one or not.

2. Muse says ‘please’, Writer says ‘now’
This relationship is difficult one but in a completely different sense than the previous one. It’s achieved by a long training, lots of willpower and spanking. Not everybody is suitable for this. To have the willpower, the determination and the most important – the patience. You see it takes time. Lots of it. Writers sits around, but doesn’t wait for muse to come to him. Instead he writes down ideas he gets from the muse. He writes regularly. For example once a day, on a regular basis. And with time, his Muse bends to his will. Giving him better and better ideas, helping with the plot twists.
Pleasing his Master.

To, again paint a scene from a D/s world. Writers sits in an armchair, comfortable, relaxed. Then he decided it’s time. He waves his hand at his Muse, standing in the corner in a cute little schoolgirl outfit. She was waiting for it. Now all she wants is to please her Writer. She has all those ideas she hopes he uses. Uses her.

The tables are turned. The deadlines are met. The writing is nothing but improving. It only gets better. One might think that if someone has this particular relationship with their Muse they hit the jackpot. But come to think of it. How many great ideas were lost because the writer didn’t want to submit to the muse. How much did the writer limit himself by training himself in the art or writing. Is there any spontaneity left?
I can’t answer those questions as I, myself, am my Muse’s bitch. Not very proud of it, but still. The fact remains.
And the question you should ask yourself is… Which category does your relationship with your Muse fall into?

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