Thursday, June 12, 2014
How To Write
Everyone has their own way to write.
Some of these ways WORK, some of them DON’T.
This is my method, presented here mainly for my own benefit when I stray from the path and entangle myself on the Vines of Goober.
Maybe you can use some (or all) of my methods to enhance or vary your own writing techniques.
THINK of something to WRITE DOWN.
I know that MAGIC is supposed to happen when writers stare at a blank page, but in my experience, MAGIC = either A BLANK PAGE or WAFFLE.
So make sure you HAVE SOME IDEA.
Anything from a Rowling style SEVEN BOOK SERIES to a SINGLE LINE OF DIALOGUE will do.
You can HAVE these THOUGHTS anywhere and at any time.
If you’re lucky, IDEAS will seem to “pop” into your head (though normally all this means is that you began FISHING for these ideas eons ago and your brain finally got round to answering the call).
If you’re less lucky, you may have to stare off into space and FISH for a few minutes before you find THE NEXT THING to WRITE DOWN.
Write down your thoughts.
To help you, you’ll need a PEN, some PAPER, and maybe an iPOLLOCK.
DO NOT use one of THESE:
These devices have NOTHING to do with WRITING.
They are DISTRACTIONS, particularly those running WORD.
WORD (and other slaveware like it) is about EDITING, FORMATTING and PRESENTATION.
These DISTRACTION MACHINES will lure you into DELETING your words rather than SCRIBBLING THEM OUT or LEAVING THEM BE.
They will prompt you to CUT, RE-TYPE or ITALICISE your material rather than OFFERING YOU A USEFUL VACUUM upon which to WRITE DOWN YOUR THOUGHTS.
They WON'T let you DOODLE or INTERACT MEANINGFULLY WITH LIVE BUTTERFLIES.
It’s an old joke, but there is NOOOOOOOOO Rule 3.
Follow rules 1 and 2 and your WRITING is DONE.
Editing, Formatting and Presentation
When you have transferred your THOUGHTS to paper by EXERCISING YOUR ARM and MAKING MARKS, you can then move your WORDS to an EDITING, FORMATTING & PRESENTATION SLAVE.
In the olden days, this meant TYPING OUT YOUR WORDS, but now you can DICTATE to any number of devices that will do the HARD WORK for you.
Once you have transferred your WORDS to an EFP SLAVE, you can use your device’s AMAZING ARRAY of FUNCTIONS to prepare your WRITING for PUBLICATION.
You can CUT, PASTE, KERN, JUSTIFY — and MORE!!!
But one AMAZING FUNCTION I have yet to see on the menu of a single EFP SLAVE is WRITE.
This is a psychophysical condition of the worst kind as far as writers are concerned.
When you need to write, suddenly you CAN’T. Arghhh!
There are three reasons for this:
1) You haven’t THOUGHT of anything to WRITE. D’oh.
2) You can’t THINK WRITING THOUGHTS because you’re THINKING ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE.
So if your house has exploded, your car has been stolen, your nose has fallen eff (etc) then you have to STOP THINKING THESE THOUGHTS FIRST.
Sometimes, you can put down distractions such as ACCIDENT, UNCERTAINTY and DEATH, and exercise free will in the way William James described it, ie by THINKING THE THOUGHTS YOU WANT TO THINK.
Other times, however, you have to NOT WRITE and THINK EXCLUSIVELY about your immediate PROBLEM.
Only when you’ve solved it can you make the space once more for WRITING THOUGHTS.
3) You think you CAN’T WRITE.
The solution to this one seems to be to WRITE.
Surely, by WRITING you stop the NOT WRITING, right?
All you end up with is a different kind of NOT BEING ABLE TO WRITE — and now you even have the WRITING to PROVE IT.
Remember: thinking you can’t write is a THOUGHT.
Starve your desire to THINK IT.
Then THINK of something you WANT TO WRITE DOWN, and WRITE IT DOWN.
Coffee, cigarettes, Mantovani, lucky horseshoe, divine intervention etc
These have NOTHING TO DO with WRITING other than that they are WORDS you can WRITE DOWN.
If any of this helps you in some small way then my work as an iPollock enthusiast is done.
All too often, getting the results we desire means stopping all the bobbins that’s getting in the way.
So remain pure in your thoughts, and don’t clutter your life with “special equipment”.
You’re a WRITER, not a PORN STAR.