Sunday 17 January 2021

Nerd Church - The Writer Diaries: 4 Random Realisations About Writing

There's a couple of random things about writing that I've realised lately while working on my Work-In-Progress (WIP.)

I dunno whether this is me becoming more self-aware of my patchwork writing process

(I write in snippets and then attempt to stick them together... with varying results) 

- or whether everyone knows/has realised these things and I'm just now catching up (let me know!), but I figure'd I'd blog about them anywho! 😅

'The Writer Diaries: 4 Random Realisations About Writing' written in fancy cursive script, against a lined-paper background

1. The weird exposition is actually my characters explaining my story to me

...Because I have literally no idea what's going on, tbh.

So when they're like, "The reason why this is happening is because..." it's 'cos they realise I don't know.

And they have to explain it to me. (And I can take it out of anything resembling a final draft!)

Westley from The Princess Bride: Let me explain!
Via Giphy

I also sometimes write snippets that are more like explanations of something - like one of the characters' art pieces and what they're typically like - rather than a piece of actual prose.

And I figure this is stuff my brain needs me to figure out so I can use it in future snippets, rather than just using it as it is.

2. Sometimes you catch characters at weird moments.

And if one (or more) of your snippets is literally your characters arguing over weird YouTube videos, you don't have to include it as part of the narrative!

Friends - Chandler to Joey: Oh! I don't care.
Via Giphy

(Unless it turns out to be relevant later on, ofc.)

3. Characters will just waltz in and invite themselves to the party, and you will not be able to get rid of them.

I have something of an ensemble* cast in my WIP - the most vivid characters are the ones who literally popped into existence out of nowhere. 

*check me out with my posh vocab! Also, the word ensemble is delicious #NowYaKnow

Patrick from Spongebob, coming home to find several pairs of eyes peeping out fromn under his rock-house: Who are you people?!
Via Giphy

They've actually shoved some of my original characters out of the way as Main Characters (MCs) at this point. 

I am powerless to stop them.

4. I want to write something that is so beautiful that it justifies its own existence.

You may or may not know that I overthink a lot. 

Like, there is very few existential crises I have not had at this point in my life. Some of them I have on a weekly, or even daily, basis.

This includes many, many, writerly existential crises.

So something hit me (metaphorically) the other day: I want to write something so beautiful that I don't question why I wrote it - I want it to be its own reason. 

Like a Botticelli painting or something. If Botticelli paintings included ghosts faffing around 21st Century Wales. 

(...OK, I would legit. love to see that Botticelli painting though, not even gonna lie.)

I have no idea whether that's even possible (especially given the level of self-critical that I typically am...) but it's a goal, right? 😅

So, is this stuff that people already know and I'm just now catching up on?

Do your characters ever faff in from nowhere and start to talk about YouTube videos?

Talk to me! 😅💬

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  1. I haven't written in forever, but I will look out for these during my fiction writing course this term! Also, really appreciate the Princess Bride gif :D

    1. Ha, Princess Bride gifs ftw! ;)

      Hope you enjoy your course :)

  2. I can relate to most of this. I wish my characters would have the decency not to show up in the middle of night or at when I'm supposed to be working, and then rudely wander off when I sit down to write!

    I often write in snippets too, but then I have a hard time piecing everything together to make a coherent story. I usually write a detailed outline first now, which makes it easier to assemble. A lot of my writing never makes it into the final piece but is necessary to teach me more about my setting or characters. I always keep these snippets in another file as they sometimes come in handy for other projects.

    1. Ha, I would need a coherent plot to make a detailed outline! The other day I was like: I could start it with this part! - and that's about as close as I've gotten tbh :)

      Unfortunately I can't write linearly (i.e., not in snippets,) any more - this is the only way my brain seems to work now!


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