Last evening was my last Grub Street Jumpstart Your Writing class and for me it was a good class to take. I’ve always have said that I’m not a great or even marginally good writer, but this was an opportunity for me to test myself against other, much better writers. Good writing is work, it takes a bit more than just good imagination and a knowledge of words, it takes a sense of how to put those words together in prose that is accessible. Descriptions of places, people and events need to have color so that the reader can see, feel, hear and even smell what the author is conveying. Good writing is for all the senses and to do that takes a commitment to the craft and being aware of the pitfalls that we all face. I now have several pieces that I have started in the class and there is some potential in what I have in them. Now that I have the time and space to do so, I can focus more on what I have already written and flesh out the stories. What I can’t do is allow myself to let my own natural procrastination set in where I fuss over every sentence or word, I just need to get down and write. Not everything will be polished and wonderful but at least it will be my writing with the hope that one day it will make some sense.
Some of what I write will make it to this blog, it is after all why I started doing this. The only way to know how you are doing is to go ahead and throw yourself under the bus of critique, which can be hard at times. I’m not that great on self promoting, being a raging introvert, so I’m not setting out looking for praise or anything like that, I’m just going to write, out it out there and let the chips fall where they may.
Here’s a paragraph of something I started several weeks ago in the class. The prompt was to write about getting a second chance and so I created this character who will be given an opportunity for that elusive second chance. Where it goes from here, what twists and turns will occur, I have only the foggiest of ideas. In many ways it’s the character in the story that will drive the plot and that alone is what makes writing fun, the mystery that unfolds before ones eyes.
In the dark corners of his memory he remembered a cartoon he watched as a kid. A turtle that seemed to always want something better but when he got into trouble or found out that his wishes were not what he wanted, all he needed to do was call on the Wizard. “Fizzle, frazzle, drazzle, drone, time for this one to come home” and soon this little turtle would find himself back safe and sound at home. If only that would happen to him as he sat there at his desk, staring at the computer screen in his Dilbert-esque cubicle world. Feeling stuck he could only sit there daydreaming about being elsewhere but he knew that was futile. Above him he could hear the low hum of the florescent lights casting a pale, surreal light on his desk that made the books and papers that littered his domain look ominous. Within his own soul, that is, if he believed he had a soul, felt shrunken becoming nothing more than a dead, lifeless weight deep within his chest.