It seems as though I’ve become a mentor for a younger writer.
It wasn’t intentional. I’ve been a member of Absolute Write Water Cooler for a couple of years now and one of my most favorite places is the Cantina. It’s kind of like an ongoing conversation for who ever hops in. There’s a bunch of regulars and our conversations vary from kids, to writing to jobs and other assorted topics. (I do wonder how many people pop in and wonder if this group is just plain crazy.)
Writing is often the ongoing topic as are daily word counts, publication acceptances and rejections, and assistance with ideas. The Cantina crew’s experience ranges from published authors to those new to the field. There’s a few paranormal authors as well as more die-hard SF writers and everything in between.
It’s a good group and we encourage each other a great deal.
So a few months ago, one of the members needed some help with a story idea. I offered to help. We skyped for a while and by the end, she knew her characters better, her main conflict in this story and an over reaching plot had surfaced. *
I’d like to say that I’m getting a lot better at brainstorming. When I first started writing I had no idea what I was doing. I just had this story in my head and I had to get it out. Those stories aren’t good. There’s very little plot or even conflict. I’d spend days thinking about a single element, how it looked, smelled and tasted, because I thought it was what had to be done. It turns out, I was thinking on the wrong things.
Things are a little different now. While I’m still a pantser, errr Discovery writer, I do a bit more planning on my longer stories. (sometimes short stories just happen) I’ve got some awesome ideas for the Shattered Soul series and I keep coming up with more but, I’m not spending as much time thinking as I did in the beginning.
I know some of you are scratching your heads, but let me continue.
Now last week, another writer was having issues with their idea. He’s claimed he hasn’t ever finished a story, but he was coming up with some good ideas. His problem was, he couldn’t get things to connect. So again I offered to assist, and we skyped for a bit. Even though he didn’t have all of his ideas completely rounded out, he has a good start, and I hope to see some chapters in the next few months.
So now, I get questions out of the blue. 😉
Oh it is fine simply because at one time I wished I could have had someone answer my questions when I started writing. I’m glad to help this young writer out.
But what I’ve discovered is, writers are over thinking things.
Oh sure, Ryssie is going to bop me over the head for that comment, but oh well.
Sure writing your first story can be frightening, but if you sit there and think about it; it’s never going to be written. If you don’t know your characters well enough to have the confidence to write them, you are going to give yourself writer’s block. What you write as your first chapter, probably isn’t going to be your first chapter.
In other words, Don’t think so hard!
First drafts are always awful. They are supposed to be! You get all of your crappy writing out in one go before you work on edits and polishing. So what if your plot doesn’t go the way you expect. Work with it when it comes up.
No one has to see your first draft. You can always write new chapters. You will get to know your character the more you write about them.
IT REALLY WILL BE OKAY!
So get to work and write! lol
* the writing assistance just consists of questions specific to their ideas. I don’t push ideas, just ask questions and let them write out the answers.