Joy in writing

My story, Flashback, is coming along nicely. Quite nicely. Too nicely, in fact. It’s frustrating, how nicely. Why frustrating? Well, see, I have two other stories I’m working on, hopefully to submit for publication. With fan fiction, you can’t expect to ever get published. It’s just for fun, and I guess practice in the art of writing. That’s how I look at it. But as a serious writer, this has frustrated me. I have written 18 chapters, about 40,000 words in just 14 short days. I’ve averaged about a chapter a day, with a couple of days doing two. So why can’t my "real" writing go so fast? And so easily?

I’m drawing this conclusion from the experience: Writing should be fun, even when it’s serious writing. I’ve found that this story has been flowing because it’s NOT my serious writing. I always try to do my best, of course, but since this is just for fun I’m not bogging myself down with all those annoying rules. Can’t use was. Can’t jump out of POV. Can’t use adverbs (why the heck not? Are they not parts of the English language? ...sigh...). Can’t...can’t...can’t...

Those rules are necessary. Don’t for a minute think I’m bashing the rules. I know they have to be established to ensure quality writing. But at the creative stage of the process, those rules can really stifle. The fact that I’m doing this story for the fun of it, knowing it will never be seen by a real publisher (I hope!), has freed me to just write. And write. If this were a real novel, I’d be finished in a month or less, then I’d be able to go back and polish...and cut...and rework the plot if need be. But at least the main story would be finished. For me, it’s a lot easier to rework a story, tweak the wording, worry about POV purity...etc...once the creative part is over.

This has been a valuable lesson. I didn't think it was true of me, but I suppose I'm not much different from other writer friends of mine who can't turn off the internal editor even during the creative process. Wouldn't it be nice if we could just press a button and start off in create mode, then press again when finished, and automatically move into edit mode? Ah...well.

I have rediscovered the joy of writing. It’s been fun. It’s been fast. And I’m getting great reviews! Too bad those folks on the fanfiction site aren’t editors at, say, Tyndale or Bethany, or...

Have a great day.


Judy said…
This November you definitely HAVE to do NaNo (National Novel Writing Month). The goal is to write a novel in a month (50,000 words). Pretend it's a fan fic and go for it!

Seriously, I think this will help you in your other writing. Re-finding the fun of writing is important, I think. Once you do that, then you can go back to the story and just enjoy it. Remember what it is about your other WIPs that drew you into the story in the first place.
Ivy said…
I think part of it is that with fanfiction you don't have to create the characters yourself...or the environment, or the basic plot, or anything...all you have to do is change the situation, instead of building up to it (that's what made Winterstar so hard to write initially--I had to create characters that we only really read about once--the young Marauders, that is).

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