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J. J. Brown, Wordslinger

"I Sling Words As I Go Along."

Month

January 2015

And now a word from Edgar Allan Poe……

“I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.”

Edgar Allan Poe
January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849

Nichelle Nichols, in her own words…….

……remembering Dr. King.

And now a word from Nellie Bly……..

“I have never written a word that did not come from my heart. I never shall.”

from The Evening-Journal, January 8, 1922

Nellie  Bly
(1864-1922)
journalist

So, I’m working on a scene……..

……….in one of my Current Works in Progress and I found myself cringing, blushing furiously, and muttering “Oh, my God, I can’t believe I just wrote that” several times under my breath. It was a scene of pure sensation, one that required me to get inside the character’s head, to immerse myself into her experiences. It was difficult, agonizing, frightening and I wanted to bolt, to avoid writing it.

This is not the first time this has happened to me – indeed, this fight-or-flight reaction occurs with almost consistent regularity. This is particularly the case when the scene in question either threatens to touch old wounds or inspire feelings that I’m not in a position to resolve. It’s neither bad nor good – it simply is. It’s my path as a writer.

What allowed me to finally get the scene down, on paper, was to treat it as an intellectual exercise. I had to distance myself from what was occurring with the character, her self-awareness and her own journey of discovery. By using that approach, I was able to get past my reservations (or discomfort, both work and both apply) and get the bare bones written.

When I go back and revise, polish and make this particular story shine with its own merit, I’ll have the framework ready for me to expand upon. I may still have reservations, discomfort and fear, but the fact that I’ve got something to work with will give me the courage to go further, to challenge myself even more and to fully embrace the sensations and feelings this story evokes.

Good stories, regardless of genre, make you feel everything – emotionally, physically, intellectually. To make that happen in your own work, you need to find the little tricks and tools that will facilitate it. There is no right or wrong way, just your way.

Which, of course, goes back to reading and continually pushing oneself to be a better writer, but that’s another blog for another day.

And now a word from J.R.R. Tolkien……

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

J.R.R. Tolkien,
January 3, 1892 – September 2, 1973
author
The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, etc.

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