02 September 2012

Stairs, My Old Enemy

Stairs are evil creatures with nothing but malicious intent toward the human race.  Sure, they’re helpful, and often times needed, but in the end I feel that their goal is to torture us. Either one has to climb UP them or keep the grasping fingers of gravity at bay as you descend them—usually with something in both hands and a bag dangling off of one shoulder.  In my humble opinion, stairs and gravity are in this together, and they plan to leave no survivors.

However, since they are a necessary evil, we all learn to negotiate these horrid stairs starting at a young age.  It’s a wonder that we ever get past the crawling up and sliding down on our butt stage, but the need for enough speed to get away from our parents, siblings or the family lick-in-the-face dog is generally enough motivation to do so.

The toddler years aren’t kind.  The word toddle doesn’t inspire confidence of any sort, especially toward the concept of balance.  The thick diapers keep the back end from serious bruising, but the rather large head usually hits first, and I know many a parent who has enjoyed a trip to the emergency room due to the combination of stairs and gravity.

As we get older, the world looks for other ways to take us down: gym class at school, annoying people, ridiculous schedules, ice cream, members of the opposite sex, children, standing in lines, commercials, jeans that shrink in your closet…For a while, the stairs and gravity combo remain quiet.

And then you get really old. Somehow the stairs know, and gravity rejoices, and they renew their assault on you with more vigor than ever.  It’s not very nice.

I bet you’re wondering how this relates to writing.

Oh it does. Wait for it.

There is a rather large pile of skills that I need to work on, sitting right over there in my writer’s corner.  Things like grammar, the proper use of a semi-colon, making sure my characters have clothes on, getting rid of passive voice and a whole slew of others.  But one that always gets me is the romance line of a story. It is my stairs of writing.  I feel like the toddler trying to get up the stairs without going to my knees because I’m a big girl now, and then face-planting while everyone is looking.

Those romance lines kill me!  But I plan to attack them in each novel I write with vigor, and make sure that it doesn’t stop me from creating a great story.  Even if I do have to wear a helmet and ask my romance writing friends for help.  I can swallow my pride.  Really.

So what is your writing nemesis?


Antiquarian said...

My writing Nemesis is life. I know that sounds strange, but I'm at that stage where RL things can knock the wind out of my efforts and enthusiasm.

I also think RL is in league with lulls in the plot. As in the calmish stuff that happens between action scenes.

IF you ever want to run romance past a friend feel free. But be warned I hate non-communication that people try to pretend is romantic comedy - it's not funny.

Anthony Dutson said...

What you need is to write clothes into your story that the characters can't take off. ;)

Lately, as you've noticed, I've felt my descriptions have been sucking. For some reason I've entered a dialog phase. What's that about?

susie said...

I am so distracted by research that I never get around to the really productive writing part. I have lots of little flurries of writing here and there that never get put together because of my most current FASCINATING research book. Why can't I just get paid to read...?