22 June 2011

Writing is Like . . .

My friend Melissa tagged me. Not in a picture, that'd been easy, but in a tag, you're it kind of a way. So I'm it. So what? I guess that means I need to do something here. The title above is the prompt. I shall type.

Writing is like getting a group of my favorite people together and going on an adventure with them. I do have to drag along my not so favorite people as well, but we need them. Without a little conflict stories are boring! And if the classification of adventure is involved, then boring can't come along for the ride. Doesn't work that way. Besides, in my worlds nasty little fellows like that always get their comeuppance. Trust me.

Let's compare the adventure to going to an amusement park. Some people stick to the kids rides, other people go for the more exciting rides while the not so faint of heart will throw themselves onto anything that resembles a moving machine with a seat belt—with the seat belt being optional for some.

So I've got my friends, and we have a plethora of adventure lying before us, ready for the taking. What to do first? Start with the little rides? Someone might be deathly afraid of a twirling octopus that shoots water from its tentacles, even if a three year old can out run it. There's a conflict. What will we do!?! Make them “get over it” and force them on the ride. Push them until they leave? Have them watch all of our stuff while we get soaked? Tell them to go get us some snacks. They might psych themselves up into overcoming their own fear, or they might cry like a little girl the whole time, vowing to kill us all in our sleep. Depending on the characters, any of these things could be interesting. Or they could be boring. That's the beauty of writing. It can make nothing of something or something of nothing.

Let's say the character gets on the ride of their own accord, facing their fear. Good job. Now that that's over, what's next? Haunted house? Merry go round? Roller coaster? Happy go Pukey ride? (Sorry, had to throw that in there for anyone who gets it.) Who faces their fear next? Who spills ketchup all over their white shirt and then sees the guy she likes? Who makes a move on said guy, ruining everyone's day because then everyone is, like, so mad about it all and can't believe the she would do that to their friend!

When all of that gets dull, have a monster erupt from a ride. Up the stakes. Deepen, broaden. Betrayal, fears, love, anger, joy, laughter, action and fun. I fill the story with as much as I can fit in there (kind of like how I ate everything I possibly could on my cruise last week because when will I have unlimited chocolate chip cookies and soft serve ice cream available for “free” again?”) and shake it up a bit. When the good parts come to the surface I write them down.

Writing is like that for me. Maybe it's just me.

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