General rule of thumb: don’t stuff a gun in your purse and then try to bury it in a forest. Just don’t. Leave it in the closet with the figurative skeletons and walk away.
I think one thing TV writers do the most efficiently and effectively is making sure their characters do something stupid at least once per episode. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, I’m just stating an opinion. My characters have done some pretty stupid things in my books, but it’s not like I tell them to do it. They come up with these ideas on their own. Sort of.
I’ve really been struggling to come up with creative content lately. I can write quantity – travel back two years almost to the day and there’s your proof. It’s not quality I struggle with, either – it’s maintaining a reader’s short attention span that I spend most of my time working on when I free write (because our attention spans are so short nowadays, when it says to microwave the soup for a minute and a half, it’s the end of the world in four seconds flat).
The best books I’ve ever read have pulled me in with the first line. That’s an art I haven’t quite mastered yet, but I would love to be able to say I have someday. My stories are okay, but I take a good fifty pages to finally get to something interesting. Which, I guess for a quantity contest, isn’t that big of a deal at this point.
I’ve been struggling with my articles this semester as well, but no matter what type of writing you’re focusing on in any given period, you’re always going to have to play with your style a little bit and tweak it to fit the right mold. You can’t change your voice – that’s always going to be there. But tamper with your tone and you can write in any medium. I can go from writing an academic literature review to an article about yogurt to a story about pirates without much effort – it took a lot of practice, but once I had to learn how to do it, it kind of just became habit.
Okay, I’ve never written about pirates before. But now I’m kind of tempted to write about evil pirates who steal yogurt from a professor doing research on a deserted island.
Yeah, my brain went there. It can’t help itself. I’ve tried to reason with it in these situations, but it never listens to me. Stubborn, stubborn.
And I wonder why I’m single . . .