Bitch-space: 22 Jan 2024

Here is me, once again writing complete and utter tosh (is that how you spell “tosh”? Is tosh actually even a word and if so, does it mean what I think it means? For some reason I want to make it French, “touche”, except that’s “touché”. Ugh. Anyways…) for no other reason than I can, and it’s the easiest thing for me to write without thinking about it.

Except, clearly, there’s something thinking going on (with a Henry Morgan from Forever accent) because I just put that whole bit in about “tosh”. So… Why is it easier for me to write crap than it is to write a story? I’m making shit up either way (although there’s a greater element of truth in the current toshiness <– totally not a word).

What I really want to write, but I think I’m scared to (cut the “think”, I am scared <– point to interrogate) is Woman in White. I have a burning desire to consume a type of Asian drama that is not on the current slate. Dark (semi-dark) and serious, melodramatic but with a happy ending, no one dies except the people who don’t matter and if they did matter… well, they’re not the hero or heroine and I’m okay with that.

Seriously, if someone who matters dies, it’s to amp up the stakes for the really important folk (see Serenity director’s commentary for more).

So… I really, really want to write Woman in White but I’m scared to. What’s scary about it? What grand poobah is going to read WiW and tell me it’s complete and utter crap? Who the fuck is going to care if I create a mishmash of genres that don’t really hit the tropes that hard-core xianxia, wuxia or epic fucking fantasy fans expect? No one, that’s who. If readers don’t like this shit, they ain’t gonna read the shit (unless they’re like judges or reviewers or something, and then…) Ugh, I got better things to do with my time than worry about what some armchair warriors gotta say about my imagination. (Should print that on a mug as well. Getting quite the collection of book-ish mug quotes going!)

Anyways… back to the point. There ain’t nothing to be scared of when it comes to writing Woman in White, so I should get over it. Work on it. Ease some of that fear and turn it into the grand dumping of ideas such as what is happening now because.. Hey, would you look at that, 450 words in 9 minutes. Go me. Imagine if I could harness this energy/typing and turn it onto the creative side. Imagine the stories… So many stories! So little time!

All the stories coming to me all at once and never enough brain-space/time/whatever to write them, when I want to write them which is usually when I’m hip-deep in some other story and I just wish it’d get to the end so I could move onto the next shiny, shiny object.

And that right there, is critical voice having its way.

All the stories should be fun stories, right from the first word to the last. No saggy middles.

I don’t have as much saggy middle energy when I’m writing shorts. Because the saggy middle is pretty fucking short and I know the pain (<–not a good word, the fact that it exists in a thought about writing is a sign that I gotta heal the critical bitch) won’t last long.

Why is it pain? What’s so bad about the middle? The middle is where the action happens, the angst, all the scummy, goobly bits that I like in a story. We need the pain/goobly bits to make the vindication all the tastier. The pain is crud on the bottom of the pan that gives the gravy its meaty flavour.

So, we like the pain. We embrace the pain, cause the pain means that the end is going to be extra good.

Now, back to the shorties and the fast shit. Cause I’m hooting along now and it’s pretty good, and hooting along means more words, which means more stories, which means that I might, just might, be able to get to all the awesome goodness in the back of my mental compost heap before I’m old, or at least older.

Methods for going faster…. How do we go faster? How do we get the delicious goobly story words out just like we’re going now?

We practice. We are practising, but this is like… I don’t know… Going round and round in a circle in the round yard in prep for getting out on the trail. This is the punch punch punch, the shadow sparring, the repetitive motions taken to ingrain an action into muscle memory, before we face off against an actual person in an actual fight. (Except writing is not fighting, because fighting comes with negative connotations, which we’re not associating with creative writing, so work on that description.) This is the practice before the practice where we figure out what we’re going, what it feels like, how the fingers work and the words flow.

This is the first step, the second step comes soon, comes just at the moment before we think we’re ready. The first couple of sessions will be hard, painful until we learn to embrace the pain because the pain is the goobly shit, and we love the goobly shit.

Featured image by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

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