Monday, August 4, 2014

My Precious Prose

This was supposed to be the opening entry in an episodic story. I wanted to attempt a tale that unfolds according to the "pantser" style: one unplanned piece at a time.

Unfortunately, it seems the story I had intended to tell was just a bit too precious for episodic blog entries. I use the word "precious" with a bit of an eye roll. What I really mean is that the world of the story grew so important to me that perfectionism and fear of failure (those two killjoys) showed up and insisted I agonize over every aspect of my writing. I knew they'd crashed the party when it took me four days to prep a thousand words.

If your work ever grounds to a halt like this, consider some quick exercises to keep yourself writing (it beats staring at the screen or crawling forward a few letters at a time). I've found some success with WriterKata, a great site intended to foster pure practice. When my output dwindles to zero, WriterKata's "jump right in" prompts can help get me moving. At first they set the bar nice and low by challenging me to complete single sentences. Once I've found my footing, the challenges move on to paragraphs and then ramp up from there. Nice.

My apologies for not getting any prose up this week. I'll try to start my episodic story next week--only this time I'll make sure it doesn't take place in a world I've previously spent a lot of time brooding over.