Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Immersing myself in story

I'm at that funny place in the writing process where I mostly have a story. I can talk about it, make it sound like a story. I've even got an entire plot outlined. I know my characters, I've been through almost every chapter of John Truby's The Anatomy of Story (my bible for story creation). But there are still holes. And my brain is tired. Rather than just filling holes and moving forward, I find myself pacing around the holes, secretly hoping they'll magically fill themselves.

So I've spent most of the past week not writing, but reading voraciously. I've been seeking out young adult and middle grade books similar to my own, and outlining their plots, analyzing their symbols, and pondering their characters. I even found myself happily watching the movie version of the musical Annie the other day.

I'm a little worried I'm just killing time, treading water until I have enough energy to move forward with my work. But every so often as I'm reading, I end up scrambling for my notebook to scrawl down a difficult question, or grabbing my computer, so I can type an observation. I like to think, as my mind processes all this story, somewhere in a back room wheels are turning. At least, that's the theory.

Do you ever have to immerse yourself in story to move forward?

6 comments:

  1. Analyzing while reading, for me, can mean the story is not gripping enough. It's not as effective as it could be. It also may mean that I'm, like you, in a problem-solving mode.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'm the same way, Mirka. I can usually only analyze things after the fact, or on a second read-through (assuming it's good!). It's been interesting getting myself into this mindset, though... I find the analysis has been coming a little more easily, wanted or not.

      Delete
  2. you're not killing time - you're making the most of it by searching stories like yours. every little bit helps when you're a writer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what I hope! Thanks for stopping by, Amie!

      Delete
  3. The subconscious is great! I'd say any day now your brain is going to take all the info you've been shoveling in and spit out exactly what you need! =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was thinking about the story in the middle of the night last night and a great idea randomly popped into my head. Here's hoping there's a few more on the way!

      Delete