Wednesday, April 2, 2014
IWSG: DO IT.
But seriously. This entire post came to me a few minutes ago, as I sat down with a few pages' worth of story notes I scribbled down at work yesterday and today. I've talked before about only getting my good ideas from my second attempt at plotting a story, and this set of notes was something bigger than that - this was my second attempt at defining the entire world the story takes place in. And this new world brought a new story with it, one that sprang out of my head today, fully formed like Athena, with less spears and wisdom and owls and more dragons and necromancy and weird monsters.
So of course, because this is the Insecure Writer's Support Group and I belong here, I started to wonder. Was I really going to go through this again? Don't I already have enough plots in progress? What if this one crashes and burns like so many others? Do I really need to write this down? Should I even bother?
I've never actually slapped myself and meant it, but I should have.
The answer to all those questions is, and always should be, YES. As a writer, it's my duty, my calling, and eventually my job to explore all the stuff that comes out of my head. It's not my place to filter what comes out, it's my place to write it all down, to get it out, to take that first step toward making it real. The filtering can come later, when it's time to assemble the plot and make it work, when it's time to discover the characters and watch them make the story their own. There's always time for asking the questions that lead to a good story.
But that time is not at the onset of creation.
So this is my message for IWSG: for everyone who's doubting their as-yet unformed or untold stories, stop. Just write. Pantsers, start going and don't worry about how it will end. Plotters, make with your chosen method and see where it takes you. The worst that can happen is that it doesn't work out.
It's not easy. It's not meant to be easy. But if you can cast away your doubt and just do it, just get your ass in the chair and write, it will be worlds better than keeping all that stuff in your head and wondering if it will work. Because if you never get it out, you'll never know.
Now get to it.