Every night, without fail, when I click the Stumble button a few times and after I’ve cycled past the games and the cat pictures (honestly, how many of those do we need? I have four cats. I don’t come online to look at MORE CATS), it brings me to some sort of writing page.
Most of these are harmless and I think little of them one way or the other. Some of them, though, are How To Write More Betterer pages. I don’t understand them. I don’t agree with them.
Tonight, I found The Snowflake Method.
I briefly considered going through the Snowflake Method bit by bit and taking it apart here, so you would have a long blog post to skip. But then I realized I really hate blogger who quote articles bit by bit just so they can snip at ’em.
So I’ll snip at the whole thing. I am so manly.
Folks, you don’t have to write a book like this. Your book doesn’t have to be written step-by-mother’lovin’ step. You don’t need to write a one sentence followed by a paragraph followed by a page and so on. You can just meet a character and start writing. You can have a situation, a line of dialog, anything you want and just start writing! Do you like to outline? So just outline what you want to outline, in as garbled a mess as you need to, and then get on with it.
A query letter I got once, through BBT Magazine, had this line toward the bottom: My second novel is currently slated to enter production at the end of next month.
Neat! And I am currently slated to change my pants around the same time! It’s not a damn movie. I realize that kid was just trying to sound highly impressive, but it just comes off as silly and lazy.
Writing gets way too high-handed at times. The writers do, I mean. The writing itself fails to care one way or the other. Writers are either plucking their mystical words out of the ether as their ethereal muse guides them along their paths to Byzantium, or else they are acting as though their books are movies, like above.
You can just write. Okay? Nothing more, nothing less, just write. That doesn’t mean you have to write by the seat of your pants, because not everyone does that, but good lord. This is writing.
This is storytelling, when you get down to it. We are the descendants of the men who told stories around a campfire, handing them down from generation to generation, and of the women who told their own stories in their own languages that the young men did not know and the old men were too wise to learn. We owe it to each other to tell stories. Not tell each other how we’re someday going to tell somebody a story.
It’s like dieting by reading a ton of dieting books. You’re still getting fatter. This is the same thing. You can outline and plan and prepare all you want, but if you don’t get down to it sooner or later and just write, then you’re not accomplishing anything. Sooner or later, it goes from planning to stalling. One is useful. The other is fear.