Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Lost my words again.

I'm posting today, just because I haven't posted for a few days. I haven't thought of anything nice to write about, because I've lost my words again. It's a strange thing, losing your words. You don't have any warning about it, you just wake up one morning and they're not there. You know they're around somewhere, but they're just out of sight - as if there's a big boulder right before your eyes, and you know they're hiding behind it, but you can see them and you can't see the boulder either. It's all invisible. But I find that I'm getting them back again quicker now that I know what to do about it. When I used to lose my words I would just spend a lot of time watching telly or doing nothing in particular, waiting for them to come back. But they always took a very long time to come back that way, and I would feel guilty for having spent so many days/weeks achieving absolutely nothing. Now I know that the only really proper way of finding them again is to get looking, and by that I mean that you have to just write something down. It's probably a right lot of crap that you're going to write, but it doesn't matter because it gets all the crap out of the front of your mind, and makes way for the words that got lost. That's what I have to do anyway - other people have different ways of getting over a word-drought.

I'm finding that I'm repeating myself all over the place at the moment, and that often leads to the words retreating to a secret hideaway pretty sharpish. I've got several places to write about myself, you see. I have a diary for writing in by hand, I have this blog, and I have a Book of Ahievements (in which I write about something good that I've done every day). And I have a penpal too, and I write pretty long letters to her - all about ME! So writing about myself can get a bit repetitive at times, especially if I'm not up to much. And now, Noomski and my mum have given me a challenge. We each have a beautiful, new, dinky little Moleskine Japanese concertina notebook. Noomski has to draw on every page of his, my mum has to write a poem, and I have to write prose. Getting the ideas is the hard part. I think their tasks are less challenging than mine, because they will find it easier to be interesting - though perhaps the execution of the idea will be more difficult for them, and involve more skill. But what am I going to write about?? I really have no idea. I have decided on something to write about three times, but have ended up dismissing each topic on the grounds that it was very dull. I thought about finding out about something new that I'd never thought of before, and writing about that. But that would end up being a quick search on Wikipedia once a day, and a quick copying down of random bits of information that would not stick in my head anyway. That wouldn't really be learning, just regurgitating. So, I think it's going to have to be to do with observation - I need to find something around me to write about. Perhaps I could choose a subject, and make up a backstory for it. I could sit in town, and watch one person for ten minutes (if they would keep still long enough - or I might have to follow them; but then I might get arrested for stalking!). Then I could give them a family (not no family at all), an occupation, something sensational that they do that is completely removed from reality perhaps. And I could do a little sketch of them, or a little doodle of what that person made me feel like for that ten minutes. I know I'm not the one doing the drawing, but this challenge is about creating a beautiful book. To me a beautiful book is full of words! But perhaps it would be enhanced by a bit of colour.

I haven't got a word block as far as my novel is concerned. That's coming along nicely. I wrote a chapter last week, and am well on the way with the next one. I should be able to finish it now that I've actually got a fully fleshed out synopsis, and an ending. I've got lots of characters that I care about, and I've got lots of ideas for scenes. It's amazing what a little book like Novelist's Boot Camp can do! What a splendid book that is - I'm so very pleased that I bought it. I just wished I'd read it last year. I could have had a finished manuscript by now. But no matter really - I'm doing it now, and that's the main thing. Todd A. Stone, the author of the Boot Camp, is very inspiring, and very, very funny. I laugh out loud a lot when I'm reading his drill instructions - he keeps telling me to get down and do some push-ups, and I do! He tells me to go and make a character list, so I do. He tells me to write a synopsis, using this, this, this and this to achieve the objective, so I do. I like his no nonsense approach - stop whingeing and snivelling, do not sit about being airy-fairy, get on with it and do push-ups. It's ace! No-one gets a book written by mooching around and day-dreaming. People get books written by writing down words. D'uh!

Ah, I feel refreshed now. I found a few words :) Now to get on with Chapter Five!

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