*Just a note for my classmates: This is a combination of weeks 3 and 4.
I am in love with this learning project! It is giving me such a great chance to actually do something I love for a grade! As I said in my initial blog post about my ILP I have been writing since I was in Jr. High and High School. I also took Intro to Creative Writing through CSC in the Fall of 2015. Due to my history with writing I know most of the basics, this fact has helped me decide where to start my learning at.
I personally struggle with 3 parts of the writing process. The first is thinking up a topic to write on. The second is being able to write through the plot to an ending. Lastly, I am horrible with taking the time to revise and edit. Each of these will be an aim for my individual learning for this semester. I will do research on each of them individually, though they all work together to make writing the best it can be.
Topic is the easiest to deal with. I have a horrible time trying to brainstorm ideas on my own. It is a good thing there is a plethora of resources at my fingertips. Books, apps, and websites are overflowing with writing prompts/topics for anyone who is interested.
Though I looked at books online such as the book Writing Vivid Settings by Rayne Hall, or Showing and Telling in Fiction by Marcy Kennedy (both can be found in Amazon books), I decided to go with a writing prompt book I received for Christmas. The book is 1,000 Awesome Writing Prompts by Ryan Andrew Kinder. He splits each section into different types of prompts, and then separates them by number.
I chose this for my prompt book for the simple fact that I can pull a prompt out, and then do research on a certain part of my writing struggles to work through before, and after choosing a topic. Just glancing through there are so many that get my cogs turning, and pumped to write!
At one point in my life I wanted to be an author, or even an editor. The thought of being the person to bring others as much joy through books as I have gotten from them sounded very fulfilling. The biggest reason I did not follow through with this as a career option is because of the last 2 struggles of mine.
I would not be able to put something out on the shelf I was happy with without having the proper tools for plot, and revision. This is true for both authors and editors. I am hoping that since I am able to take this time each week to learn more about myself as a writer, and more about the writing process at my own pace can reopen these doors for me.
When I write I very rarely start with the beginning or the ending. I write the scene where my mind first takes me. Due to following my thought process I am lead to jump around from one scene to another often without fully finishing a thought.
Throughout my research I came across a blog of a person who was going through something similar to myself. She was very witty, and had the steps of writing listed out while describing how difficult each step is no matter how simple it sounds. This wonderful blog is How to Start Writing a Book by Marian Schembari. Through the information gathered from this blog it already helped me feel better knowing it is not just me!
I also struggle coming up with fresh ideas for a plot. It is almost impossible to write something that hasn’t been attempted before. Though it would be told in a different way I feel like I need to do something diverse from the normal. It also can be looked at from another view point that these plot lines have lasted so long because they work.
Jumping around through scenes, and needing a fresh plot are my main problems with the actual process of writing. For me it is not easy because I over think everything I write. Knowing this about myself helped me make the decision to write short stories.
My decision also was due in part to writing chapters for a book would not benefit me as much as I would like since books are so long. They need more connections to the plot in order to make them interesting enough to read the longer work. Where with short stories you can do a lot more with a lot less.
I have learned about the difference between short stories and novels in my Elements of Lit class, but I thought it would be good to have a bit of a refresher for myself. In researching this part of my topic I found Three Ways Short Stories are Different Then Novels by Joe Bunting. (The title gives it away, right?!) They all were simple and made sense, but also backed up my reason for why I am writing the short stories.
When looking at my final struggle with revising and editing they might as well be 4-letter words. I combat revision because I hate having to reread my works, and decide what needs to be cut out or fixed. I do want to make my work the best I possibly can, but without help from someone I don’t do well making the decisions.
This also is an issue because before I put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) I have a vision of what my story should look like. The real thing is never actually able to hold a candle to the original thought of it. This becomes very discouraging. Though it has never killed my love for writing.
Since I spent a lot of time on my research of these topics this week, I will work on my prompts as of this weekend, and next week. I will post my first work next week. Then throughout the weeks I will work on more, but also on revision and editing of what I have already written.
Thanks for reading!