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Monday, May 05, 2008

Happy, happy, joy, joy

It's finally spring in the Pacific Northwet...the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the air temperature is over 45 degrees. Just barely. And while summer is beckoning to us all, we still have six weeks of the school year left in these here parts. That means projects. At my house, we're presently involved in writing a Civil War journal, and writing and organizing a HUGE poetry project, both for the 8th grade. Yet my cherub detests writing. It's shocking how much he hates it. It's a white-hot-burning kind of loathing and it baffles me. I start by being a cheerleader: 'It's only words, my darling boy! You can do it!' Then I segue into the coach: 'Say it out loud and I'll type it. If you can talk, you can write.' After that, it just gets ugly: 'AAAAGGGGHHHH!!!! Just type some @#$% words on the *&^% page!!'


So as I struggle to control my blood pressure, I wonder about fun writing. You know, the kind when your timer goes off and you think, 'An hour already?'. When you laugh out loud at the joy of making the words do exactly what you want. When the light bulb goes on and you connect some plot points and simply can't type fast enough. Let's remember why we face the page in the first place. Share with us a moment when your writing gave you joy.

Oh, and my teen angel wrote three paragraphs last night. Alert the media.


Jennifer McAndrews said...

What a timely post for me! This happened just yesterday - that aha! that mystical moment when the plot comes together seemingly of its own accord. I had set my main character a particular task with no real idea of how she would succeed, no plan for her to succeed, in fact. But there I was, writing an emotional little breakdown for her and all at once the path to success was clear to her -- almost like she knew it before I did. I love when my subconscious proves it's smarter than me!
Huge Congrats to your little angel on his three paragraphs. I think we can all relate to how tough even three paragraphs can sometimes be!

Gerb said...

Jen, I love it when the characters take over. I just did an interview yesterday and one question was, do the characters ever surprise you? Do they sometimes take on a life of their own? And the answer is YES! And it's complete bliss when they do!

Julie O'Connell said...

A joyous moment I remember is sometime last fall when I was in the middle of the push to get my MS completed. Linda had challenged us to a one hour sprint for maximum word count. I think I ended up giggling as I wrote this particular scene. It wasn't really the characters taking over, it was just a scene that worked. The dialogue and action made sense and made me laugh.
I have to admit, most of the last half of my MS felt like a party to me. It's the editing and re-writing that are torture. :-)

Ginger Calem said...

Oh how I wish this would happen to me right now. I'm in the beginning of a new book and things are murky.

Like Julie said, I have had times where I read scenes that took me in so completely that I giggled outloud at my own writing. And scenes that I read that dragged and just didn't gel somehow.

In retrospect, it's the scenes where I'm pulled in fully that I remember the characters took over and I followed them, letting them do their thing.

I wish they'd all do that and do it all the time. It would make our jobs easier, right? :)