Wednesday, January 8, 2020

BOOM! The Writer Who Lived--by Kimberly Sabatini

This month we're talking about what we learned in 2019 and how we are applying it to our writing. Ironically, my 2019 writing take-away is in stark contrast with what I've learned in previous years.

In the past, it's become obvious to me that learning to plot and NOT be a complete pantster would be a huge game changer for me. 


It's exploded my previous notions on how to be a good writer.

I've studied books on the topic, taken online classes, explored the topic at conferences and I've done dives into the work of writers I admire--to see how they made it work. 
And I've clearly come out the better for having blown up my previous way of thinking. 

And then there was this year's lesson...

BOOM!

Despite all the planning and prepping and box checking I did along the way for my work-in-progress, SLICE, things happened in my manuscript that I couldn't prepare for. 

I lived.

The very act of living in a world that has given me so much to think about--both good and bad-- has changed the trajectory of my story.

I'm not sure how other people work, but I write fiction because I'm too much of a coward to keep a journal. The very thought of writing down my uncensored feelings feels quite dangerous to me--someone might read them. 

But when I write fiction, all those same thoughts and questions can be on the page in a less recognizable way. That's not to say that my writing doesn't clearly hold my unique finger print. I'm confident you can see threads of me woven through the whole thing. But if you knew what was in my head most of the time--you'd know this feels like it's the balance between authentic and private that I need.

But back to the mind-blowing lesson of 2019. 

Despite all my best laid plans--I evolved and continue to evolve and change and that keeps showing  up in the choices I make for my writing. 
I see it in unconscious decisions when I look back at my themes and choices.
I see it in the ah-ha moments that make me go...but what if instead of this I do that?

And while this personal evolution can wreak havoc with my best laid, pre-made plans, I also know that the work is better and way more interesting because I'm a writer who lived and let my life find its way onto the page.

What piece of your life has blasted its way into your writing or another creative avenue in your life and changed how you see things?


7 comments:

  1. Happy 2020! What in my life hasn’t blasted through to my writing! LOL. In my current WIP quite a few old friends and foes have shown up, conversations I remember, feelings I’ve had. Remember in that movie National Treasure... when they find the actual treasure.... I feel like my mind is like that gigantic room. Depending on what I need for the scene I’m writing, I walk around in there for a while, find what I need, and burst it onto the page :-) can’t wait to read what you’re working on! <3

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  2. I know EXACTLY what you mean. I'm a huge plotter, but more and more, I feel like I have the confidence to say, "Huh. That's interesting. Wonder where that would take me" when the unexpected creeps into a manuscript.

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    1. It's a weird and challenging balance and I think it's a little different with every project--just to keep us on our toes LOL!

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  3. I used to be an obsessive plotter but I've found relaxing to more of a "here are the highlights" plot works better for me. It allows me to go in directions I hadn't considered and takes less time and energy!

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