September 24th, 2006

Watson likely stories

A motivational speech

Today I burn with Story.

Some of you I've betaed for have heard me say, when I think your courage to invent is flagging, that you know secrets. Your readers want to learn those secrets from you. That's one of their prime reasons for reading, the need to learn the secrets that only you knew until the moment you wrote.

Well, today I know Secrets. I know secrets about Giles, and Buffy, and Ethan, and Willow, and Xander, and what really happened when...

The chasm between this essence of Story in my head and a finished piece of fiction is so huge. The amount of work, for instance, in between that initial vision of Giles standing in the sitting room at 221B Baker Street, and the finished story was months, and parts of my London trip spent scouting locations, and re-reading a bunch of Conan Doyle, and more reading on Victorian London. Sometimes I feel so frustrated that what is in my head only comes out on the page as a clumsy flat representation. Sometimes it's hard to maintain this drive to tell the secrets over the hours and days it takes to get things out. But I gotta keep trying.

One of the things that kept me from writing for the last decade (destruction of confidence following intensive multi-week writing workshop, intense fear of people actually reading my writing), was a conviction that I had no ideas worth investing writing time in. Well, I've got ideas, and over the last months here I've taught myself that it doesn't matter whether my nasty internal editor thinks they're worthwhile. Readers will be entertained by the idea anyway, because I know secrets they want to learn. And that's what matters.

Collapse )

Cover me! I'm goin' in...
And I'll get your back when you go in to retrieve your story too. Go for it.
  • Current Music
    Banco de Gaia : Drippy : Big Men Cry
  • Tags