October 2009 Archives

As I was transferring my old files to my new laptop, I noticed my writer's statement that I had written in 2008 for Writing of Fiction class at Seton Hill. It brought me back to the last few weeks there. During my portfolio examination, I was locked in a room with two professors and I had to explain to them what I have learned during my four years there. In a capacious room, a long table separating us, I stated that my writing is influenced by two basic emotions, love and fear. Those two emotions are the starting point of the attitude and the mindset of the characters I create. Even though the two professors were interested, they were worried that my approach to writing could be burned out extremely quickly. I understood what they were saying, I think I have to be a little more omnibus in my writings.

I really don't think that my approach to writing has to be byzantine, but love and fear seems to be limited. I still believe that love and fear is the most basic of emotions. You can't truly hate something without fearing it or, at one time, loving it. I think that a skosh of changes can help me approach my writing in a whole different way. In transferring my files, I also stumbled upon my approach to writing the actual piece of work. Forgive the length:

My writing process is the rescue after a car accident. The cars are the ideas that I have flying in the speedways and highways of my mind. One of them crashes into my sight risking the life of the idea. That is why I have to grab my notebook, the lifesaving ambulance, and quickly writing the idea down. I pulled it out of the wrecked car and saving what is there, sometime the idea fights me not knowing what is going on. They kick and scream, but they know that it is going to be all right. After all, I’m there to save them. After the lifesaving pre-write I figure out how to get the idea out of the scene of the accident, I outline. I figure out what goes where and how to approach different situations. When that is done I execute the extraction from the site, I begin to draft the story. Depending on where the car crashed, it may take me a while to get there. Five hours or three days or maybe even a week before I reach the hospital or the finish point of the draft.

This is the tricky part of the whole rescue. I have to revise, figuring out if I need to perform surgery on the idea. But I need to know what needs to be done (maybe some stitches of grammar or gauze of punctuation). Sometimes I do this alone, but as good writers know, it is good to have a second opinion. After a workshop or my own critique, I begin to perform the surgery making specific details different than earlier. When everything is done, I wait for the story to heal to get published.

Now, I know that writers are up long hours saving their ideas from death, but sometimes it happens. A lot of time they die on impact or maybe on the way to the hospital. Other times no idea crashes, nothing gets hurt. And although no car crashes are a good thing, what idea is going to be safe from the deadly freeway of the brain? What stories are going to share the life changing story into publishing? All speeding ideas are just blurs, no faces, no names, and unable to be stories. However, I’m not deterred, I know that it’s not easy and I can’t save all my ideas.

Personally, my goal is that I want to see stories walk out of the hospital and into publishing, because I want to have a tool to show off creative talent and become a resident in the hospital of higher education. The money and fame is just a prize (not a big one and it doesn’t save other’s idea’s lives). I’d like to think of myself as just a man who helps and not one who takes advantage of an idea speeding in a different highway. I know that there is always an idea that crashes and needs to be helped.

The extended metaphor of the ambulance can be a good example for any occupation and hobby. Nevertheless, it is the best example of writing due to the importance of capturing and saving the ideas. Even today, I have no problem invigilating any ideas that I may use to writie, but I will take the professors advices and sharpen my way of doing it.