Wednesday, May 8, 2013

05/08/2013 Writing Wednesday!

Good day everyone! The week has reached it half-way point and while I have tiredly stumbled through it so far, I'm...actually sure that's what the rest is going to look like too. Let's hear it for needlessly early training orientations tomorrow! Hopefully you are at least somewhat more awake than I am, and if you are, please ignore anything that might not make a whole lot of sense. When I'm sleepy, I like it when people are nice to me.

When we had that craft fair a few weeks ago at work, I was asked a lot about the people in the cards I'd made, and when I would tell them that they are all the characters from my book series there would be a moment of polite nodding followed by a double-take when they realized I said 'writing' and not 'reading'. That was usually followed by questions about my process and what the stories are about, and I realized that I am still not prepared to answer these questions. So I thought I'd bring it up today.

Now you might think that explaining what your story is about would be simple, but it's not. For one you have no idea what the person you're explaining it to is interested in, genre-wise, and also what sort of knowledge they have regarding whatever subject you picked. Or maybe it's just me who has that amount of awkward panic-thinking, but it's still true. The moment I realized that I wouldn't be able to logically let my mother beta-read 'Daughter of the Shackled King' I started wondering who the crap is going to do it, because there are a lot of mythological references that I know, and she admits that, she doesn't know about. So when complete strangers asked me what happens throughout my entire series I have to sit there and mentally script out what I'm going to tell them and hope that it keeps it both interesting, easy to follow, and doesn't give away too much.

Having someone ask me what my writing process is was even worse, because quite honestly that wasn't something I had put any actual analytical thought into before that moment. They wanted to know how I came up with the idea, how my story-boarding worked, how I made time to write it all, how I came up with the characters, and so forth, and for some reason I was convinced I was going to give the wrong answer. Logically there isn't one because everyone's process is completely different, and I say whatever works best for you, go for it because it's being awesome. The thing is telling someone, especially if you are on some sort of, oh let's say migraine medication, at the time and your brain is in 6 different directions already, and making it make sense is incredibly hard. The person that you're talking to might not realize how hard of a question this is to answer, because frankly unless the person you're talking to is another author, they honestly don't know how you do it. Writing is a process that is a mystery to anyone who hasn't done it, and sometimes even to those that have attempted. So, even if you think you're giving a strange and possibly incoherent answer, so that person you've told them the secret to finding buried treasure.

Maybe you all have great answers prepped, but for the generally socially awkward talking about themselves is really hard and also really scary. Just remember that the people asking the questions are genuinely interested and if you tell them that you haven't really thought about something, or aren't sure how to answer, or that the answer is hard to explain they aren't going to be mad at you. They'll understand because everyone has something that makes them freeze up. Hopefully they'll be supportive and keep talking to you with great interest and want to know more. This will end up being your audience, so grab onto them and hopefully make friends.

Thanks everyone for stopping by today. I'll return on Friday, barring some strange apocalypse, and even then I might still come back and post pictures. Please stop by then and in the meantime I hope everyone has a great rest of their week.

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