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Archive for March, 2013

For awhile many aspects of my fantasy book remained stuck. I couldn’t get inside people’s heads, I couldn’t see what the course of tension was, or what the backstory was, in order to move the right events forward. Finally I caved and allowed myself some distractions: movies, readings, working on other projects around the apartment. Naturally that’s when things began to reveal themselves to me. Not in full, but I certainly had those “aha!” moments that I was lacking. Things are starting to solidify and that allows me to write better characters and interactions because I’ve finally begun to understand where everyone is coming from and how things work. I was writing blindly before, with a general idea of the plot arc but that was it.

But this morning I work up with a completely different story in my head. I’ve often thought about writing what I know, which is higher ed, being a grad student, being a college instructor. My life experiences have been challenging, humorous, and sometimes just overbearing.  I’ve never dared to write about those experiences as it’s felt too raw, too personal, too open for judgment. This morning it was clear that I could write about that, and maintain a fiction element. Not everything that happened needs to happen to me, and I don’t need to make it all true to my life. In fact the lead characters were obvious, standing in front of me as if they just knew I was going to tell their story. I love those moments. Graduate school, that first teaching gig, the bullshit politics, and of course my romantic elements as well. What if I gave the alternative “me” a happier ending to those few years?

Of course this means I’ve got 3 stories going now, with multiple “essay” ideas. And I might end up hating where this goes. Writing is writing, and it’s all good practice, right?

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