Simply My Blog

Simply Teresa

Epiphany….. Finally

My writer's block, why I got stuck in the middle of my story.  

When I begin a story, I can usually write the first several thousand words without much forethought, without much planning or plotting and I really can’t tell you where their names come from, nor the personalities, faults nor ambitions.  I’m only sure that they are supposed to be together because my instinct is that they should, not because they have shown me they belong together when I first get the story idea.  The first half and many times even portions of the ending are easy, and organic for me, as if I’m merely a means to get the story told.

My frustration arose when my characters stopped talking to me.  They just stopped, like a best friend who refuses to tell you why she’s mad at you, she just stops talking to you.  I blamed my muse, the outside stresses of life, like my husband’s cancer returning.  So I thought maybe it was a lack of skill, that I needed to attend more workshops, read more on plotting, find more ideas on character development and read everything I could on story structure.  Admittedly, I did need this information to become a better writer and to hone my craft, but I did not need them to tell my character’s story.  Those skills I would need for the later revisions, but not during the initial process.  

I offended my characters, hurt their feelings.  Okay, so I know they are not real people, but they are a result of my creativity, my right brain.  When I allowed myself to believe that my creativity wasn’t good enough, I pissed off my muse and she went running.  I allowed the logical side, the analytical, critical thinking, control addict left side of my brain to take over and she is a bitch of a bully.  

So what was my epiphany, that I should capture the story as it flows. I need to write the story first and let my left brain critique it once it’s through.   I needed to own the fact that my process isn’t someone else’s process.  My timeline, experience, method, lack of plotting or anything else is okay as long as I’m writing.  I wanted my first draft to come out as if it was the only and final draft, and while there are some very gifted writers who may be able to create their story that way, that’s not my process.  I need to believe in myself, in my characters and in their stories.  

I have apologized to my characters, we've made up and are getting to know each other all over again and I look forward to sharing their story.

Simply Teresa

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