Tuesday, July 3, 2012

IWSG: Turning things upside down

This post is for Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted on the first Wednesday of every month by the fabulous Alex Cavanaugh. Anyone can join. Sign up here!

Ok, ok, I don't have a good excuse for posting today instead of tomorrow, except that a few others have and I had this post ready YESTERDAY, so... here you go!

Sometimes when I'm painting I get frustrated -- I visualize where things are going versus where I want them to go and I can't make up the difference. I hate that. But then, if I turn the canvas upside down, I get a whole new point of view... and it's inspiring! That doesn't mean I'll leave it that way... but new perspective can help me get my vision back in focus, to realign my aim... and sometimes new and great things come out of it!

I want to figure out how to do that more with my writing... because things are not going at all where I thought they were going with my WIP and I feel pretty deflated about that. So I'm wondering what I can do to regain some inspiration. How can I turn my WIP on its head? Maybe my MCs motivations are more nefarious than I give her credit for. Or maybe my main villain is really my MC...

The cygnets are here and they are
the most beautiful ugly
ducklings I have ever seen.
What do you do to turn things upside down?

10 comments:

  1. Sometimes a new pair of eyes (even if it's just on the first chapter) can bring that perspective you've been having a hard time seeing to light. It never hurts to have someone take a look at your work :)

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    1. Yes, I haven't gotten over my "chicken" phase yet. Maybe soon. Maybe soon.

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  2. Good question - when you find a good answer, let me know. I read. I try to get inspired. I look at what other brilliant authors have done with their MCs to see what mine might be missing. Good luck!!

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    1. I will certainly let you know if I come up with anything brilliant.

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  3. Oh that's a good one.

    So one of the things that I do when I'm drafting a project is I try not to worry about the details that have been built into it already. If there's something important, I can always add it later. So when I get to a point in my WIP and it just isn't working the way I'd thought, I stop for a moment and ask myself something like "What if instead of this happening in the summer it happened in the winter?" or "What if I just took out that character?" or "What is the absolute worst thing that could happen to my character right now, and how would that change the story?"

    It works for me because I give myself license to have zero continuity in the First draft. I change character names, I change plot arcs, I add and subtract villains, everything. The key is that you have to go back in the editing and make it all make sense again later (and it can be hard to have a beta for something like that).

    Anyhow that's how I do it. I hope that helps.

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    1. O thanks, Rena, that does help. :)

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  4. I like the comments by Rena - I tend to view my first draft (or my WIP) as discontinuous and subject to change. I try to write without thinking about what it all means, where it fits, and how it should end. I often don't know where anything belongs because I could be writing a character back story or something unrelated to plot. It's messy but there will come a time edit, revise, delete or even stop working on it.

    A little exercise I heard about it involves extracting your best sentences or even just words and using them to guide you on a new piece of writing. This allows you to gain fresh insight and hopefully inspire you with what you already have in a new way.

    Other than that, you could do something unrelated to writing and fully embrace the experience. You may gain something meaningful in the process (such as visiting an art gallery, or taking a walk to a place you have never been) Then hopefully the words will flow. Whatever you do, you will eventually overcome this and gain a new perspective. Good luck. Cheers

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    1. Ah!! I like the idea of extracting my best sentences... Thanks!

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  5. That is a good question. I try to inspire myself by reading something else, or watching something. I like the idea of the villain turning into the MC :)

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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  6. Hi, visiting from IWSG. Honestly sometimes you just have to give yourself permission to write rubbish. I find when I take the pressure off myself that words flow and much needed ideas and twists spark. I found writing difficult scenes longhand really helped connect me to the story. I was wary of trying this first but it has really helped me in my revisions.

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