Thursday, February 23, 2012

Writing For The Sake Of Reading.

I've always loved and hated in equal measures every part of the writing process: the beginning, the end, the editing, the drafting, the plotting, and everything in between. But something has changed for me. I don't love and hate all parts of the writing process in equal measures anymore.

When it comes to working on final drafts, the scale is tipping precariously close to despise/despair.

 I was talking to a friend the other day about how my writing process has changed and even as I said that I didn't really know how true it was. The more serious I become about my writing, the less indulgent it seems.

In the beginning of the story when there's only a few characters and an idea and I'm stumbling through the dark it will always be completely indulgent, only because I know I can fix it later. I don't think that part of my process will change.

The final draft, though, has changed. It's that promise I made in the beginning to fix the story. And unlike my other books, with BIB I now feel compelled to actually fix it. Now I have to trim away the excess and make a story. Suddenly I find myself laying face down on my bedroom floor, listening to Fleet Foxes and thinking about things like  "Plot" and "Character Motivation" and "Pacing" and "Structure."

Words like that make my head ache. The size of my book makes my head ache. The thought of both finishing and not finishing this book makes my head ache.

Part of me wants to go back to writing the way my earlier books were written: full of needless and excessive details and letting my characters kiss in the rain even though it's cheesy and doesn't make sense since it's summer. Part of me wants to go back to writing for the sake of writing. Writing because my sanity depended on it, because I couldn't do anything else, just because.

Another part of me, a much smarter part, the part that's thinking about "Plot" and "Character Motivation" and "Pacing" and "Structure" is shaking her head because she understands and accepts that I don't write for the sake of writing anymore. I write for the sake of reading.

I write the books I want to read and hope that someone else will want to read them too.

What do you write for the sake of: writing or reading?

Food for the brain. I want to hear your thoughts. Happy Almost-Friday everyone. I'm going to turn off Fleet Foxes now and get to work.

Music: "Helplessness Blues" by: Fleet Foxes BIB book one playlist.