Why I write


I write in the compulsive style reminiscent of Azimov and King; which is not to say I'm as good as they are - it's an aknowledgement that I have the same disease (or at least a version of it that they had) which is to say, I write because I can't NOT write.

For years, I wrote middles. Scenes. If I could see it in my head, I could write it. Unfortunatly, I had no concept of beginnings, continuations or ends. I also saved most everything, and accumulated an enormous amount of 'alternate versions' of things; a character done first as a man, then as a woman (or vise versa), timeline mutations and other things that pretty much guaranteed that even if I knew how to assemple those bits into a book, it simply wouldn't be workable.

Two things saved me. The first (to make a short story long) was the fact that I got a Nursing Scholarship at work. And though I'd managed over the years to wade my way through the majority of 'general' requirements, I had somehow managed NOT to get the basic English Comp class finished. So I signed up for ENGL 1110, otherwise known as "That d-mn composition class" to most of the adult students. This teacher required us to save every draft of our assignments, and would mark points off them for versions 'not sufficiently marked up' (additional ideas, revisions, explanations, and so on) so that we were illuminating for him as much of 'our writing process' as much as possible. Which meant that I had to take a look at my process. And in the process I learned one key lesson that has made a ridiculous amount of difference to my writing. There is nothing sacred about the first draft. If my end product has not a word from it - it still served it's purpose, just by being the first 'collection of words' that expressed my thoughts on that subject.

The second half of my salvation and inspriation as a writer of coherent stories, was a couple of books by a guy named E. Marshall, called "The Marshall plan for Writing". I just bought the book & workbook, but now they have a Web site. It's a step by step system for getting from 'I'd kinda like to write something' to production of an actual novel (as of Spring 2012, I've gotten three written). So I can't over praise it.

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