Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Experience

Here's a bit of advice: "When hitting your head against the wall doesn't help, buy a bulldozer".

It's a paraphrased bit of advice I genuinely gave flippantly this morning. The guy laughed. Y'see (because I love running words together) advice doesn't have to be sane. If you're down in the dumps, you don't need another interfering idiot who doesn't understand spouting epithets like "there's always tomorrow" (though I tried that first...), you need a laugh. No-one can make you look past your problem, but they can distract you until you feel okay to tackle it yourself.

You might, at this point, be wondering what this has to do with writing (this is a writing blog after all). The simple answer is everything and nothing. What do you write about (gah, after a few months on a touchpad I can't use a keyboard)? You write about your experience. Hang on, no, that's wrong. You write about reality.

Even the most unreal of fantasies include events that everyone will be able to sympathise with because if you can't sympathize with what they're going through, it's so much harder to sympathize with the characters themselves. No, fiction isn't just a writer's life story, but if a major event is in there then it's happened to them or they have at least second-hand knowledge of it. Eh... most of the time.

I say most of the time because that's not always the case. There are two types past this point. I'm going to dub them "a" and "b" for simplicity's sake. Type a is the category of events that you can extrapolate feelings and memories from to write related, but quite probably more difficult things. Type b is when the event comes off as flat because the writer obviously has no idea what they're talking about. Don't get me wrong though, type b isn't bad. Sometimes events need to be flat. A bad type b would be my original chapter one of Sociology. The school burnt down. Quickly, unrealistically and in a boring way, because I had (and have) no idea of what it's like. I could imagine it, but despite what you're told, imagination is not a substitute for experience. Another (I'd like to think "good", but make up your own minds) type b is the new prologue I'm posting next week (yes, I could post it now, but I'm lazy). Coye needed to be flat in that scene. It's just who he is.

Linking back to my own "distract them so they can get tackle it" paragraph, I'm being a hypocrite. Why? Because some things you can't tackle, you just have to move on and leave it be. Those are probably the things you left too late to tackle. Just one last thought ;)

See y'all next time,
Schy.

P.S. I just realised how many drafts I make that don't get published on here in any format... I'll have to post up a couple at some point.

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