One of the things I’m still learning as a writer is how important it is to start writing so there’s something to react to and refine and revise. I’m not afflicted with perfectionism — at least not the paralyzing kind — and for that I’ll be eternally thankful. At times I do tend to think things through too much, past the point at which I should start implementing or prototyping or laying down a first draft.
In terms of blog fiction and writing a character blog, I had my own conception of what that would be like as a task, and how I could best implement that goal in terms of technique. And so far I can’t say that I’ve been too far off in a material way. What has transpired that I didn’t predict is that from time to time I’ll write something — maybe just a sentence — that suddenly springs to life for me. I can’t predict these moments, I can’t even harness them yet, but I sense them, and that’s making me want to continue the experiment.
If I can say anything useful to other authors it’s that a fiction blog is first and foremost still a fictional work, and there’s no reason not to push that aspect of the work as far as possible. I’m working with a character and a fictional world that relates closely to the real world, and in that there are some constraints. But I can also see now that I’m not pushing hard enough as an author. And that’s something I wouldn’t (and couldn’t) have predicted.
To be clear, I don’t mean that I should be throwing more drama or plot points at my characters or at the reader. I’m not trying to sucker an audience with cliffhanger antics, and I don’t want Neil’s blog to turn into a soap opera. I’m talking about authority and force: the imposition of authorial power on the text itself. I think I should be doing more of that, at least to see if it works or not.
Brent Robison says
I’m with you on pushing the fictional aspect of the work further, and not into melodrama. “I’m talking about authority and force: the imposition of authorial power on the text itself.” — Yes!
I sense I richly imagined backstory for Neil, and would love to see him express more of the emotional power lurking there. Looking forward to seeing where he goes next!
Mark Barrett says
There’s more to Neil, of course. I’m not sure how it comes out, or even if it all does. I keep thinking about how bloggers (and diarists/journal writers before them) self-edit, and how that’s a much bigger part of the whole personal-disclosure business than most people realize. How to show that? Well, there’s the rub…
More to come. 🙂