On Saturday I visited Joshua Tree National Park with five friends. It was an amazing place, orange, rocky, prickly, with a never-ending skyline of sand and rock hills. I’ve included some pictures throughout this post, but I’ll have a more complete post on my other blog…
On the writing side of things, I have been unable to focus on my outline for the past two days. I’m in the trenches, to be dramatic, in the middle of my book’s outline–a place where characters are intersecting, plot turns are cropping up, technology I’ve created needs to be explained and foreshadowing has to be delicately placed–and the thing is, I have a pretty good grasp on all of this. I just don’t feel like writing it down.
Taking the time to delineate a story so that it’s in good form for feedback can feel the most like work. I know that this step in the process is important and all, but I don’t feel particularly inspired right now to get it done. I spent about an hour the other day explaining a game I had created and it got pretty tiring. I get it! I can see it in my head. I know the rules, why do I have to put it all down in my outline?
A while back when I was still chiseling away at this story concept I had a few conversations with my brother. Actually, it was even longer ago than that. It was when we spent time outlining a different, more adult, screenplay version of a concept similar to this one. I was talking a mile-a-minute about what I envisioned and what I wanted to do with the script. My brother stopped me and said, “I know you get all of this, but that’s because it’s all in your head.” He was right. It was hard to explain myself verbally and expect feedback because every other sentence coming out of my mouth sounded like this: “Oh, but wait, I didn’t explain this concept and see with this added in, yeah, now do you see where I want to go with concept B? Right, but then, there was this other part…” Whether it’s for brainstorming or for straight feedback, it’s important to get the idea out onto the page in a fashion that someone, anyone, can look at it and form an opinion.
And also, I know it’s all in my head now, but that’s because I’ve been working on it pretty consistently. If I took a break or started writing the actual text from the beginning again by the time I get to these middle pieces I may forget some of the details. So, I know this needs to happen, but I’m not as inspired to do it. This is what writing is all about, pushing through when you aren’t writing the moment or scene or chapter that inspired you in the first place. It’s about continuing until you can merge it all together. This will happen with the actual writing of the book as well. I remember from previous long works that I’ll get to a particular moment that I know I need to get through before I can write a piece that I’ve been waiting to write. That’s what it’s like for me. Sometimes it’s effortless, and sometimes it’s work.
But, all of that doesn’t mean I’m going to work more on it today. Also, I’m reading a couple friends’ pieces, giving them feedback, which is a nice change of pace.