Friday, May 3, 2013

The first key to the castle

Today I woke up like the sun: Strong and brilliant!

I don’t have much of these days in the last times, so I knew it was my responsibility to grab it and do the best out of it. I know these days, they are the fuel for the upcoming weeks, they are inspired by the muses and wish to run free like a wild horse. On these days you are strong and you have got to produce as much as you can, stop everything else, even stop eating and just follow the call. And that’s what I did! … And today, after long, long time of wandering and searching, I had a breakthrough! I finally have a story which is worth writing about, a quest to solve, one that I am not only fascinated about, but one which I profoundly hope, won’t fade away after a few days like so many other ideas did… 

How did I reach there? Well, before I would have said it’s all about inspiration… But the muses are more than mere, sporadical appearances of inspiration. They are actually coquette beings, attracted to confidence.

I have been reading some articles about writing. Some part of me was searching for help. But a very big part of me always refused reading them, because they come from people who are actually writing. They usually start with… “After my third book …” or “how to increase my word-count from 2.000 to 10.000 in one hour”. All this was not really helping me at the foetus-writer-status I am now…

As long as I could judge it, my problems were:

(a)    No focus. That means: I hadn’t clear what I wanted to write about and was therefore jumping from one topic to another trying to convince myself to get enthusiastic about this and that and actually missing real enthusiasm from inside.

(b)   Impatience. If you are a writer, you want to write. Not writing, or not knowing what to write about feels like a total failure. I started thinking of dropping writing and preparing myself to start to search a serious job again. This felt even worse, because it felt like I didn’t even give myself the chance to actually really start this adventure. I had been cautiously preparing this moment in my life, where I can actually dedicate to my writing, and now I was giving up without any battle even fought!

(c)    Lost. At the beginning, I wasn’t even putting myself the questions what my actual problems were. I was just trying to get information at random, hoping that inspiration, questions and answers would just pop up somewhere. I think it was not till I actually started understanding that impatience and lack of focus were my main problems, that I started finding the proper course again. And the biggest:

(d)   Fear.

Yes, fear. Finally I can admit it: There is some kind of fear inside me, which blocks out every creativity and every clear thought. I think I want to write and I am on it, but I am hiding my fears from myself, I am not focusing on the demons, but avoiding them, and therefore I cannot write. At least I cannot write anything that really matters to me.

But today I had a breakthrough. On my sunshine day, with the heart filled with confidence, I finally felt encouraged enough to embrace some of the wise advises I had been given.

The first of them was from Gwen Stephens ( she quoted an article explaining that writing is a craft, which (as any craft) takes years to learn. That helped dealing with the impatience. The second came from a Peruvian story-teller and my sensei through the fairy tale world, Wayqui ( He said: “Don’t fight fear, give into it. If you want to tell a story and think you will do it wrong, just accept you will do it wrong, take it as a fact, that you will do it wrong. Then, everything has already happened; you can relax and start building from there.” The third very valuable advice gave me the direction, the focus. I had to find my main quest for the story, or how Alex Martin put it, clarify the track of the conflict ( I had to define a main conflict in the story I wanted to tell.

So today, following these advices I ventured into my private zones, the inner demons, the things I am not confident about and actually don’t want to share with anyone. I started putting them on paper in confidence that every paper can be burned at the end of the day. I had tried out all other directions, except for the journey into the interior. Though I refused to venture this way, and I also didn’t expect anything of it but pitiful and winy expressions of the usually locked up part of myself, I owed myself a try. I owed my dream the try.

The result nevertheless ended up in a DiNA3 page filled with an immense diagram, with arrows and lines, single words and quotations all over the page. It seems I finally had a lot to say about something.

I have known my current main quest in real life for a while now. I just wasn’t willing to admit it, much less write it down for other people to read, because I consider myself a modern pragmatic woman, and this quest is about romance. And saying it out loud sounds still kitschy to me and the proud part of me feels like it has just been punched in the face again.

But we will ignore that, because today, I was able to take a glimpse at this particular demon, the one who locks the entrance to the spooky castle. I could start describing it. I am proud of myself.

And now I feel, all of these things I have been reading in the last weeks suddenly can help me a lot. I keep the advices and experiences of all the other writers like a bunch of keys in my pockets and they help me opening up some of the secret doors in the spooky castle. Reading therefore helps a lot.

But the steps to these doors, the steps which will lead you to and through a story worth telling, they have to be walked by the storyteller on its own. And advancing towards and inside the castle is impossible at the beginning, because you don’t know how to move. When you enter the world of tales and novels, you enter a new dimension with its own rules. Walking, talking and moving around here works different. Stepping forward is like a word-game. I am only allowed to move a step further, if I put a question. If I am too scared to put a proper question, I simply won’t move, no matter how nice the views are. Once you get it, it is sort of a joke. Because the first step, is to put the first question, and how could you possibly know, that in order to learn how to walk in this bizarre story world, you have to question everything?

No comments:

Post a Comment