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I Should Have Been A Dentist
No really, I should have been. Because pulling teeth is exactly what writing can be like at time. That and carving granite with a teaspoon.
A few weeks ago I decided that the last chapter of The Girl Who Dreamt of Water should have one final dream sequence that ties all the various strands and people together and allows them to come to terms with difficulties they've had and accept the things they'd not been able to accept before the final chapter pulled into the station. It would also allow me to have a really good time writing something that might be considered a little on the fantsatic side (my favourite form of writing).
But although you can see there's clearly a reason to do this, actually finding even half an idea to write about is a whole other thing. After some head bashing and wandering around with a large empty space in my imagination, I finally came up with .5 of an idea (variable by +/- 10%).
I was very happy with this until I started writing it and realised that all I had really was two sentences. And so began the long, long climb up from the bottomless pit of dispair into the land of the clueless.
This resulted in a the creation of a few short paragraphs that seemed to be repeating themselves.
So I swapped character in the hope that new blood would fire up the imagination engine and swing the floodgates of ideas open and allow a river of words to drip, flow and cascade out of my mind and onto the page. (let me know if any of these trips the 'Flowery' gauge...)
Instead, each word has had to be scraped out of my skull one by one by one.
So, perhaps the problem/answer is:
A) I'm worrying too much about what I'm writing and this constant critique is getting in the way.
B) What I'm writing is crap and therefore...
C) It's a good idea, but I haven't quite hit my stride and need to keep going until I do.
I've no idea which is right myself, but I'm going with C my friend, 'cause I often find, that flying blind, will get you there in the end.
Which is fine, but I am scared that B might be true and I sure as hell don't want to spend the few hours I manage to spend writing, writing rubbish. I'm expecting the dream sequence to top out at about 5-6k words - which is an awful lot of words to delete, especially as they are an awful lot of words that took an awful lot of writing in the first place.
I'd be pleased to know how you deal with this sort of problem.
Whilst a lot of us are quietly freaking out about the meltdown of the global economy, there is something that we should worry about more. And that is why the UK has once more failed to make it into the top ten of the Eurovision song contest. That said, we improved on last year's position by finishing second to last this time.
The reason why we fail is because we choose the most complete and utter shyte as our song. You can't blame Engelbert, he sang magnificently, but if you're drinking shit, your burps are always going to stink.
And why am I bovvered by this? It's very simple. Various Britains have been responsible of writing some of the best pop tunes ever, and the general public have acknowledged this by buying these song in their millions.
So why is it that a country jammed full of top song-writing talent (Beatles, Bowie, Bolan, the Floyd, Kinks, New Order, Stones, Muse, Massive Attack to name but a few) can only be inspired to write the most bland, turgid and insipid MOR crap?
Clearly someone's playing safe here, and it's failing big time. It's about time the real songwriters in the UK ripped the task from the cold, dead fingers the losers who currently organise it, and take one giant leap away from the cesspool.
I don't care if we don't win, but I do care that we take pride in our magnificent songwriting tradition and give it our best shot.