Friday, June 02, 2006

Cha ching

I had a bit of a cha-ching moment yesterday. I was reading my Romance Writers Report the RWA's monthly mag (which is always unwrapped and makes me wonder if someone in the post office is an aspiring author) and I read an article called, "Taking the Mystery out of writing the modern mystery," by Lori and Tony Karayianni (Tori Carrington).

It is a really good article, but this statement totally resonated with me.

A Raymond Chandler quote.
"Everything a writer learns about the art or craft of fiction takes just a little away from his need or desire to write at all. In the end, he knows all the tricks and has nothing to say."

Tori goes on to say, "If something we've said resonates with you, trust that it will remain, becoming the kind, encouraging voice in the back of your head. But if our opinions should morph to form Poe's raven perched on your shoulder squawking "nevermore," well, you've missed the point and we recommend you turn to osmosis and your natural instincts as a way of learning how to write in a genre you wish to target."

Duh!! Lightbulb moment. The slight block I've been feeling isn't because I've plotted everything out and don't want to write, it's because I'm trying to remember too many rules. As soon as I read this, I relaxed and the problem with the scene I was writing vanished. Duh!

Sometimes I am so thick!!!


  1. I knew there was a reason I kept resisting those damn rules. I like Tori Carrington's books - and my customers always laugh when I point out that they were written by a husband and wife.

  2. Wise couple, that Tori Carrington *g*.

    I guess you've got to put all the 'how-to' stuff into a separate part of your brain once you've ingested it -- and then just relax and trust your learning. Kinda like what happens when you finally get the hang of driving a car. You stop thinking so hard about each movement and start operating on autopilot. And that's when you can focus on the important stuff -- like your latte and cell phone :)

  3. Glad to hear you've moved past your blockage!
    Have you read one of their books? The new Sophie Metropolis series is cute!! I have read the first and am impatiently waiting for the library to ge tthe new sequel.

  4. "Rules were made to be broken," they say (although I shouldn't say that when I'm in "teacher mode"). At the moment I'm in "wife, mother, housewife mode" and I wish I could get into full-time "writer mode". There's just too much that has to be done in my other "modes". LOL. Btw I've lifted the requirement for people to be with bravenet in order to leave comments on my journal. Please drop by from time to time and keep Eve company!

  5. It's so nice when you hear or read something that gives you one of those lightbulb moments. Absolutely love that. Glad it helped you out of your writer's block.

  6. Wow, I think I had the same cha-ching reading about your cha-ching. In my business they call it analysis paralysis. Too much thinking and not enough doing.

  7. glad that worked for you - I tend to skim my RWR but every now and again I read an artcle that does that and whamo-bamo I get the fingers tapping

  8. Eve--you and rules just don't seem to go together! :)

    Loreth--I always remember someone asking me about the pedals in a car--are they the same in the UK/Canada? They are, but I couldn't tell you which is the break! BUT my feet know :)

    Brandy--I haven't read their books, but I will. Sophie sounds like a blast.

    Siobhan--oh good! I'll add the link and pop by :) I love the pictures of your area!!

    Peggy--yes, it is good:)

    Scott-glad to help. I love that expression, analysis paralysis.

    Dennie, I often skim it but this issue has had lots of stuff in it for me :) Now my fingers need to tap too!

  9. Stop thinking about rules! Here's the thing, I truly believe to stand out you can break the rules and do it good ;)

    Just my opinion...

    I'm glad your block is gone!

  10. I just read an article where it said that the first step is to create - write it out, don't worry about the rules, and just have fun. The second stage is to analyze. This is when we go back and make sure that we got the rules right and that the craft is exactly how we want it.

  11. Kendra and Melissa--I know what you're saying but I think *I* also need structure because I'm writing a RS/mystery and want it to work. I have found I spend more time rewriting than writing and want to cut that down.

    Discovering Story Magic helped a lot actually, because it is all about character motivation, figuring out strengths and flaws. But yes, writing is the key to first draft :)

  12. I think it is important to realize what "rules" work for you and internalize them. That's what I've done and I don't think much about them. I have to blame my writer's block on lots of laziness right now.

  13. And a few distractions running around the place, Rene!!