Friday, July 8, 2011

Writing With Soul

Sometimes writing is hard. 

I don't know how else to describe it. It's just hard. You know what you want the words to say, you know how you want the story to be. You have so very many hopes and desires for your novel. But there's this disconnect between your subconscious and conscious idea of your novel, and the actual product.

Holly Lisle once said words have weight. And it's true. An idea feels completely different than that idea fleshed out into a complete novel. The words add up to give you a sense of gravity, like a sculptor slowly chiseling away stone until a man emerges.

Sometimes this is disheartening, scary. Sometimes I feel like I bit off more than I can chew with this novel. It's steampunk, and Gothic horror, but set in a fantasy setting. There's a lot of stuff going on in the book. I've always been an ambitious person, and my writing is a place I tend to challenge myself. I am usually far outside my comfort zone in terms of the book I am writing. I am trying a new sort of character, a new type of setting, a new style of plot, and frequently, more than one of these examples at once.

It can feel daunting. Depressing. Like I'll never be able to tell the story with justice.

But yesterday on Twitter, James Scott Bell posted this video:

It helped. I like the idea of using the frustration to fuel you through your writing. That the frustration is a sign you're growing. Hopefully improving.  

Trying new and scary things with your book is a good thing. It helps you grow. You spread your wings when you try. For me, I think it grows my writer's soul and maintains my interest in a book.

What about you? How do you approach your writing?


  1. Yes, yes, yes! that's exactly what I was talking about with my dissertation chapter (which is strange when it's really fiction writing that we're talking about).

  2. What a perfect video! I'm sending it to everyone I know and love as part of my apology for being so wrapped up in myself/book. :)

    Thanks you for sharing! I feel like working through that frustration is what makes us writers. Quitters are not writers.

  3. Rena: It is strange, but you know the techniques fit all forms of writing. :D

    Charity: Thanks! I am glad you enjoyed it. And you bring up a good point. Quitting when it gets frustrating would just mean that you're not a writer.