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No Natural Facility

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No Natural Facility

I’ve got the monitor turned on end. Can you tell?

Bickham describes writing structure in pairs. He begins with small cause and effect type pairings then accumulates layers till he begins talking about pairings hovering at the chapter level: scenes and sequels. Scenes have goals, conflict, more conflict, and outcomes. Sequels have emotions, thoughts, decisions, and actions. I’ve been trying to write the later these past few days.

I don’t seem to have any natural facility with sequels.

Not that I expected sequels would write easy. I just hadn’t realized how resistant I am to writing character thoughts and feelings on the page. I like to show evidence of those things in their guestures and minor actions. I feel like I’m good at that during scenes with conflict. When I need to write more in a character’s head, I find my flow staggers and stumbles. I’m looking for a way to get out of their head.

It feels too intimate, but I think I could get over that without much effort. The real trouble I see, is that I can’t form an argument with a charater’s emotions and thoughts that will lead to a decision with a pace that makes sense. In my barely credible amount of practice it’s been a struggle to write more than one sentence for each element of a sequel: Bob feels hatred. Bob thinks John is at fault. Bob decides to confront John. Bob grabs a gun and heads over to John’s place. I even have a hard time not using the key words in my writing.

This is the same conclusion I came to the first time I tried my hand at sequels a few months back—or a year ago. At that time I figured I needed to take a step further away from narrative writing and look into the classic techniques of argumentative essays. I didn’t do that then. I’m tempted to not do it now. Odd, huh?

Potentially foolish.

My thinking here is that I’ve only got a few days left on 1000 Days. My thinking here is that I’d like to keep my writing narrative. That I should save the argumentative essay thing for the next phase.

For those of your cringing. I’ll at least go google that to see what the general techniques are.

xxx words on day 991

  1. Rose Fasching says:

    You may be tripping over yourself in acknowledging that you have no facility (?) for sequel. Are you honing each sentence before going on to the next? I want you to continue to write. My offerings are just that, take of leave them. Either way I am proud of you.