Monday, December 14, 2015

Thoughts I Had About Writing While in the Shower and Trying Not to Think Too Hard About My Work in Progress

Elaborating on what Father Bukowski has spoken to us in regards to how this dirty, valiant game is played.

  • If you are going to be a writer—a Real Writer™, not some hapless wannabe thirsting for validation from your loser’s writer’s group— you have to enjoy your own company.
  • Not only must you enjoy your own company, you must trust yourself. You must learn to trust yourself more than you trust other people. This isn’t as obvious or as easy as it sounds. Why else are we so anxious for upvotes and Likes in social media if we don’t trust ourselves to feel good about ourselves?
  • For best results on your work in progress, you must become that asshole so secure in his vision that other people hate you for it—and the fact you won’t even do them the courtesy of returning their hatred (you don’t see them; they are outside your Mission) should make them hate you even more.
  • All that said, never, ever forget the Prime Directive: to provide your reader with a satisfying, and ultimately entertaining experience. If you’re writing to send a Message, hie thee to seminary school. Or thumb out a Tweet. 
  • You should already know narrative structure and how stories work, and you damn sure better know how to tell a joke.
  • Invest yourself. If you don’t care for your characters and their suffering throughout the trials you visit upon them, no one else will, either. Also, as the Dark God responsible for making your protagonist’s life a living hell, you owe it to your creations that their miseries make sense within the terms of the world you’ve created.

Okay, that covers it. All the writing advice anyone could ever use. God knows how the hell people build entire blogs over multiple posts daily for years and years saying the same shit I just said above, over and over again.

If you’ve come this far, here’s a photo of a note I made to myself years ago while I was bashing out the early drafts of Bleeding Kansas. It’s solid advice, even if I did end up settling for a plane crash instead.

Okay, break’s over. Let’s get back to work.