Back to the basics.

I’ve been struggling with the WIP. I like where it started, I know where it has to end, but I also know that there hasn’t been enough movement for my main character. Too much observing, not enough emotional engagement. Potential, but no pizzaz. 

It’s been bothering me all week, so I tried the usual fixes of ignoring it, taking naps, cleaning my office (which meant blowing it up first as I “re-organized” stuff. I even spent money I shouldn’t have on handy organizational gadgets. “If I just get organized enough, the story will fix itself!” she said, despairingly, before laughing ironically and sinking into another glass of scotch. (ye gods.) 

So tonight, after another round of “writing,” I had managed to organize my chest of drawers, and had 17 new words. So, I took my plotbook (8″x11″ Moleskin hardcover, squared, black), my favorite pen (Pilot G-2 07 Bold), and sat down on the newly-cleaned loveseat (hand-me-down, plush, ugly shade of blue), and wrote it out. 

And wrote. And wrote. Not the actual story, but what is the story? Where is the movement? What is the journey? Brain to hand to pen to paper. And there it is. 

It’s not done, of course. There is still the writing, but for me, the journey is a little easier with a map to guide me. There are questions answered. And there is the final scene – so perfect, so exactly what the story is. It’s there, waiting for me to connect all the letters and words leading up to that point. It’s that moment that makes me love writing so very much.

What is it about the physical act of writing of writing with pen and paper that is different than keyboard and screen? They are just tools. But with pen and paper, there are no distractions. There are different connections firing in the brain. I used to know this, when I would write page after page of stories and sketches and doodles. And tonight, I remembered that. 

And I am grateful for it. 

One thought on “Back to the basics.

  1. M.E. Garber

    Funny, isn’t it? This is such a thing for me, too. Sometimes, keyboard and computer just don’t work, and out come the pen and notebook. I love the feel of words flowing out my pen, from my wrist as it curves and swooshes across the page. Like you said, it makes a different connection in the brain.

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