Monday, January 9, 2012

You need to be more....flexible.


My grandmother often said “it is the artful duty of a woman to adapt gracefully”.  I think that is true of a writer too.  Well, not the gracefully part.  Most writers I know are loathe to give up their stories, characters, or words if something isn’t working and have no problems with vocalizing their frustrations.  But, the best writers are those that are flexible. 

There are so many things that change when writing a story, even if you have an outline.  I assume anyway.  I’ve never tried writing with an outline.  An author needs the flexibility to know when a story or scene isn’t working and change it, even if it means giving up your favorite lines or scenes.  Also, the flexibility to adjust a writing schedule that isn’t quite working. Or maybe not being able to have a regular writing schedule and being flexible enough to be aware of your time and snatch what you can of it. 

Each author has a unique way of writing and so their needs will be different. We often hear the most important part of writing is getting yourself in that chair and doing it, and that’s true.  But we also need to be aware of how we can improve what we are doing, either making ourselves more time efficient, leaving ourselves room for real life, or changing with the flow of the story.  So, writers, get out there and be flexible and see if it helps at all.  

Bonus points to anyone who knows the quote I used for the title.

14 comments:

  1. I have no clue where the quote if from unless it's from Jane Fonda. ; )

    Your post reminded me of the "You have to kill your darlings" school of writing. If a scene, line, character is blocking your story, murder them, cut them, chunk them in the trash.

    That might be my mantra lately as I sort out the moldy oldy scenes from when my WIP was just about Laura Grace becoming a mother. ; )

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  2. Life is much easier when we allow ourselves to be bendable and moldable. So much changes around us, we need to be able to change with them.

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  3. Zan, Well, LG becoming a mother is an important part of it but I think you have so much more than that.

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  4. Ruth, Very well said. I should have had you guest post.

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  5. SO TRUE! It reminds me of the quote, "He who does not bend, breaks." Everything needs to bend! That's the way it and us get to the way we need to be.

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  6. Yep ... we're flexible. Kicking and screaming all the way!

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  7. Peggy, Everything needs to bend, that should be my new mantra.

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  8. THE INCREDIBLES - and no, I didn't look it up OR check the other comments.

    TOTALLY agreed. I've been going through an old MS and cutting HUGE chunks out here, there, and everywhere. Some of my VERY FAVORITE scenes were shredded :(

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  9. THE INCREDIBLES! Sorry for your favorite scenes. That's always hard. I'm sure it will be fabulous when you're done thought.

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  10. Ah yes, flexible... you know, like when you have a short story you wrote 10+ years ago and you always remembered it fondly, and thought it was rather good, and you finally decide to submit it somewhere, so you haul it out and give it a quick read and discover that it SUCKS!
    Editing, here I come...

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  12. I hate when that happens. Well, kinda, it's nice to know I've improved. Good luck with the editing.

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