According to the blurb on his site, Chuck Wendig is “a novelist, screenwriter, and game designer. This is his blog. He talks a lot about writing. And food. And the madness of toddlers. He uses lots of naughty language.” But I always manage to find awesome posts on his Blog Terrible Minds. Just recently I was directed to a post he did on 25 Virtues Writes Should Possess. It’s a good read so head on over and give it a look. Over the next series of posts I’m going to take a look at each of those virtues. Today it is A Wild & Unfettered Imagination.
I’ve always had what I termed an “active imagination”. It’s why I don’t watch horror movies. Even though I know it’s just a movie, my imagination takes it to places I don’t ever want to go, and then I find I can’t sleep. Best just not to give the imagination that much fodder. I can think up plenty of things all on my own, thank you.
Back in that neolithic age — you know, when I was a kid — imagination is what we relied on. We didn’t have video games, computers, stacks of videos. We had books. We had the great outdoors. We had the stories in our heads that we could play out with our friends. Okay, so sometimes we had to explain to them how the story in our head worked — lay out the cast of characters, explain their motivation, get the world building down pat — or was that just me? Seems it was never just a simple game of hide ‘n seek or cowboys ‘n Indians with me. I always needed to expand on it.
As adults, many of us lose that totally uninhibited child. We lose our imagination. Why should we be bothered to create something in our minds, when visual stimulation surrounds us? That’s sad, really. But it’s what sets writers apart, I think. There’s a part of our brain (with some of us a larger part than others) that never loses touch with the child, the play, the conjured worlds. Characters, scenes, stories — they’re constantly playing up in the gray matter like a 24/7 movie theater. The smallest thing can trigger it: a person we see, a sign, the fleeting bit of an idea that suddenly blossoms into something altogether different. And then we run with it. We keep adding to it and we let it take us on a marvelous adventure that hopefully we get to share with readers.
And, speaking of sharing with readers (nice segue, don’t you think?) I did notice my ROW80 goals were a little sketchy so I tried to firm them up a bit as promised:
- My word count for Emergence at this precise moment, according to Scrivener, stands at 66,687 / 110k. That leaves me 44k or thereabouts left to complete the First Draft. Doable by the end of this ROW80 burst. I need to forget the plot holes, the self-indulgent scenes, the unconnected points, force my way through and finish. I do have several scene already written that aren’t in that tally. The ending has been done for months. Now I just have to get there.
- Crossing Paths has two chapters and some assorted scenes done. When not working on #1, I will be working on this.
- Write every day regardless. I have a third piece that’s come to me. I will not officially call it a WIP. It’s just fun to work on. I have no expectations for it. So, if I’m stuck on either of the first two goals, I pull that one out and play. Writing it writing. It’s exercise. Keeps the brain juices sloshing around up there.
Okay, that’s it. So far, I have added more words to both #1 and #2 and have been accomplishing #3. So, at the moment, I’m right on target. *cue confetti and noisemakers* If you want to visit some of the other ROWers, go Here. If you want to know more about ROW80 click the image on the sidebar . . . as soon as I get it there.