Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Instinct ... Craft ... Where Am I?

The heat wave in Melbourne last week surely fried my brain. So far only written a sort of opening scene for one of my stories. Not really happy about it as I knew exactly what happened next but I was unable to get my character out of it, yet.

The above had happened zillions of time to zillions of my other half-written stories. From reading of all those How-To books, I reckon it's all related to my lack of knowledge to my characters, like why a character would act in such way. The why will lead to how the character carries himself / herself in the story.

It is extremely frustrating to notice how I could see where the faults are when I'm away from the story. But as soon as I'm inside the story, my instinct (or some called it intuition) takes over. And of course when I hit the block (like the one I mentioned at the beginning of this post), I stall. I ask myself why the character is doing this or that and to what result. I have three versions of the same answer:

I don't know! (on good day)

How the hell do I know!! (on bad day)

X#*@168fier&)_34!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (on my worst day) or simply silence

So just when do you follow the instinct and when do you drop it? O.K. maybe not to drop it totally, but let it runs along side and not right there in your face like a blind charging bull.

When I'm following instinct to create story and / or character, it feels "right". And when I step onto the wedge, I try my best to use the techniques I learn from the How-To books to kick the damn wedge away. I interrogate the character. I re-plot the story to make sure there's a beginning, middle and an ending. But I would find the end product not right, i.e. the character is "stiff" and "un-natural" to me. The story simply is a mess.

Are these common problems among beginner writers?

Or I'm too much of an intuitive writer that the instinct is blocking the craft work.

As much as I like to follow my gut for storytelling, I accept the importance of good solid writing skill. That's why I'm writing this post. That's why I'm here blogging in search for advice and comments.

Maybe I'm the problem:

It is Me who fail to integrate the two aspects of writing or I'm just not cut out to be a writer at all!

Here I'm again lost in the Maze … must find a way out … They are coming


Caroline said...

Hybrid J - Thank you for the wonderful and inspirational comment on my blog. I just finished The Alchemist and can't wait to read more of Coelho's works. I giggle at your post today...I too am writing a book and was going along with great gusto and now...bonk! But, I am going to follow my heart...it's only a mere obstacle. I wish you all the best with your book!

BTW...really enjoying all the links on your blog! Good stuff.

Hybrid J said...

Hi Caroline,
No worries. Also thank you for your time to visit my blog. Yeap, that's what life is all about - follow your personal legend and never allow the fear of failure to stop you doing anything. Good luck to your writing too. Appreciate your comment on my links as I believe it's the least I could do to contribute to the online community. Will work harder to get more good links. Hope to see you drop by some other time. Cheers and have a wonderful day! :)