In today’s Journal
* Quote of the Day
* Topic: A Reminder of What It Takes…
* Daily diary
* Of Interest
* The numbers
Quote of the Day
“[M]y creative voice is barely verbal. Maybe two [years old]. … [S]he whined, ‘I don’t wanna spend the rest of my life doing stinky licensing.'” (grin) Kristine Kathryn Rusch
While putting together my novel and novella inventory, I found what I thought was an error. I seemed to be missing a novel.
But I added every new thing I wrote to my New Fiction spreadsheet as I finished it. I’ve been adding to that spreadsheet since April 2014.
So I went back today and double-checked it.
Oops. There was an error, but I hadn’t missed listing anything. The error was in my count.
I haven’t written 44 novels. I’ve written only 43. Crap. Um, I mean, mea culpa. It’s kind’a nice to have so many that I lose count, but still….
The figures below reflect the correction.
Topic: A Reminder of What It Takes to Write Into the Dark
I know, I know. Been here before. But this will be a different take.
Writing into the dark isn’t difficult and it requires no conscious thought. In fact, it requires only a letting-go, a refusal to invite or listen to any internal or external criticism. Period.
Put another, more positive way, writing into the dark requires trusting your subconscious (your characters) to tell the story. That’s the nutshell version.
If you write with the predetermined intention of inviting critique from yourself or others, or with the predetermined intention of revising, editing, rewriting, or any other conscious-mind activities later, you are not writing into the dark.
You may CALL what you’re doing “writing into the dark,” of course. It’s a free country. If you want to, you may also point at a raven and say, “Hey, look at that duck!” or refer to a massive fire truck as a “VW Bug.” But calling something by a certain name doesn’t make it so.
Writing into the dark is a particular technique in which your subconscious (your characters) tell the story, beginning to end. There is zero conscious-mind involvement. None at all. In fact, a person who is writing into the dark invokes the conscious mind only to tell the conscious mind to shut up and leave him alone.
Why am I so strigent about this?
Because if you write with the intention of performing any conscious-mind activities whatsoever, your creative subconscious “hears” that. It knows. And that unspoken intention tells your creative subconscious that you DON’T trust it. In turn, it will not give you its best effort. And why should it?
Put another way, Why should a three year old child tell a parent the truth if he knows the parent is only going to “correct” him every time he does? Soon, the child will begin telling the parent what she wants to hear. Or stop confiding in her at all.
So if that’s how you write, “expecting” to go back and rely on the conscious mind to “fix” anything, you might as well write from the conscious mind in the first place, laboring over each word, every sentence and paragraph.
But don’t expect to write an original story, and don’t expect to write in in your unique, original voice. You can’t do that from your conscious mind. Why? Because if you can “think” it, whether originally or in revision or rewrite, so can your readers. And they will.
The only way to write in your own unique, original voice is to trust in your ability to tell a story. Which means to trust in your creative subconscious and your characters to tell the story that they, not you, are living.
Until you are able to trust in your ability to tell a story, you won’t be able to trust your subconscious and your characters.
Now, in the fourth paragraph of this topic, I mentioned that you shouldn’t invite critiques, either internal or from others. How does that square with me sending my finished work off to a first reader?
Simple. My first readers know their job is to NOT critique. Their job is to point out spelling and wrong-word errors (waste for waist, etc.) and to point out inconsistencies that pop out at them while they’re reading.
That’s it. Nothing else.
They don’t go in “looking” for anything. They just read for pleasure.
Members of critique groups DO go in looking for “what’s wrong.” And they will find things.
The problem is, what’s “wrong” for one reader (or writer) will be right for another.
Don’t do that to yourself. Don’t do it to your creative subconscious and your characters. And don’t do it to your readers.
Take the leap. You are capable.
Trust yourself. Trust your characters. Set aside the conscious, critical mind and enjoy the true freedom of really writing into the dark.
Rolled out at 4 this morning. It’s a day off for Mona. We have a trip planned to Sierra Vista. Afterward, we’ll spend some time learning about licensing and other things.
I expect also to at least get a start on setting up the Short Story spreadsheet (for the inventory) so I can hand that whole thing over to her.
Talk with you again tomorrow.
See “Business Musings: Triage (Rethinking The Writing Business Part Five)” at https://kriswrites.com/2019/07/24/business-musings-triage-rethinking-the-writing-business-part-five/. Again, for five bucks a month at her Patreon account you can get these posts and a whole lot more much sooner.
Catch the re-cast of the D2D “Ask Us Anything” at https://draft2digital.com/blog/webinar-d2d-ask-us-anything-marketing-edition/.
See “Bunch of Stuff” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/bunch-of-stuff/.
See “Tales from the Script…” at http://prowriterswriting.com/tales-from-the-script-more-ghostly-horror-stories-from-the-vault-of-error/. Can you tell Dan used to be a copywriter? (grin)
See “A foolish consistency…” at http://prowriterswriting.com/a-foolish-consistency-is-the-hobgoblin-of-little-minds-ralph-waldo-emerson/.
Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 960 (Journal)
Total words for the day: 960
Writing of ()
Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX
Total fiction words for the month……… 7399
Total fiction words for the year………… 358737
Total nonfiction words for the month… 28410
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 212610
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 571347
Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date…………………… 7
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date……………… 1
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date… 1
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 43
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 194
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31