My Kingdom for a Groove…

  • Post category:Writing

The First Law of Writing is write.

It’s a phrase that is scattered about the internet, on blogs, top 10 lists, textbooks and writing courses. Everyone seems to agree: you learn to be a better writer by writing.

This always made perfect sense to me, since writing (in theory) is the same as any other skill. I learned how to customize model horses by just picking up a brush and going at it. I learned how to program in various computer languages by sitting down and using it to code cheap Zork-clones. I’ve always learn by doing, but I’ve been writing for an awfully long time…

When I started the daily snippits, the idea was that they would to help enhance my Muses’ ability to latch onto random tangents. The perfect defense against Writer’s Block! (In theory.)

There’s a groove out there that I’m trying to find. One where the Muses flit about like overly caffeinated kittens, hunting PlotBunnies over the wide and fruited plains. … Or, less dramatically: the ability to set a timer for ten minutes, sit down with a blank screen, and put to paper at least two hundred words of something.

Of course it’s a timed exercise, so the bits of something aren’t always worth keeping (or a sentence that ends up in the Story Prompts posts.) But the whole point to effort is that it’s a learning curve. I’m learning how to take a thought, an object, or a random bit of nothing and build a story out of it.

It’s not so much what I’m building –which is why you get were-hippo mafias and sentient vacuums– but that I’m building at all. (Although building good things is definitely the next step on my ‘learn to do’ list!)

Early on I tried to focus on writing each daily snippit with a completely new world and new ideas. If I wrote about giant robotic ‘dragons’ left over from millennial old terraforming one day, then the next day I’d write about talking cats. Or dogs. Or a werewolf with an affinity for Starbucks. Or more talking dogs.

Now I’m trying to deepen the groove, luring the Muses into working in the same universes I touched on before. I’ve learned how to do the basecoats, it’s time to start learning how to blend in the highlights and shadows…

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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