Thursday, October 18, 2007

Telling Right From Wrong (Part 15)

Set Your Own Targets

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

I've had some great feedback since the last Telling Write From Wrong post, titled Finding An Agent Is Just Peachy. This is what Anne at Life Pundit said:

You won't believe it and I don't either. An agent - a real agent with a good reputation and a nice roster of clients - once contacted me after reading one of my short stories to find out if I had representation and, if not, did I have a novel he could see? And this is even more unbelievable: I never wrote him back!

Don't beat yourself up, Anne. The simple explanation (in your own words) is that you hadn't started (or finished) a novel. Ergo, there was nothing you had to offer the agent at the time. But I've seen enough of your writing to know that you certainly can write one. So I'll put two things on your to-do list. 1) Start writing a novel and 2) Try and locate the agent. Most importantly, look forward, not into the past.

Carol Cooper also weighed in on the subject of where inspiration strikes:

I can only create at the keyboard. Put a pad and pen in front of me and my mind goes blank! I don't get that movie running through my head without my laptop! Everyone is different, it's finding what works for you that counts.

Cuckoo also made me smile with her wry comment about her creative impulse:

Well, if I say that most of the thoughts come to my mind when I am in shower ... how does that sound? Honestly, now I have started keeping a pad and pen in my bathroom.

Relax, Cuckoo, creativity strikes when the mind is probably at its most relaxed. The trick is to retain those ideas and make the most of them.

North Bay Photo also joined in with some thoughts about the approach to writing:

When I do write, I tend to approach it similar to how you describe your own writing style. Sitting at the computer/typewriter and just letting one’s self get carried away into the story or article. Though this sometimes means extensive revision as the article may be too disjointed but it is fun at times!

If it seems disjointed, don't let it stop you. Just keep writing and don't worry too much about editing at this stage. If the story progresses, let the tale tell itself. And when you're ready, go back on the story and you'll see exactly what can be changed or left out.

There were so many responses that I'll deal with the others later. Great to hear from everyone. I'd love to get some more feedback.


backpakker said...

I see only images and often cant think of words to express them..inspiration comes only when i am dreaming or sleeping ... ...too tired to look for a pen and paper and write them down the time its morning, all the thoughts disappear

Mike said...

Great photo David.

Pope Terry said...

I come up with a lot of ideas on my walks, when i dont have a pen and pad handy its a little annoying, trying to remeber everything unti you get home.

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Thank you for your generous credit, David, I find you a tremendos support.

As an aside, when I run dry on a fresh post, I go to sleep on it. My brain is like one of those cranky old first computers; if I feed in the question, it eventually works out an answer, I just have to wait for it..

qofd said...

I really enjoyed this post, it helps to see how the writing process unfolds for others.

Lin said...

I found these writers' questions (and concerns) and your advice and encouragement very helpful.

sex said...
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Kirti said...

Wow, what happened to Anne at Life Pundit is what I'm hoping happens to ME with my little blog!

Also, like Cuckoo, I get inspiration in a strange place: the car. I notice I get my best ideas with my kids screaming in the back, the radio blaring, and while navigating the suburban jungle.
Go figure...