Note: This is part of the Daily Post’s prompt “The Poetry of List-Making” which you can find by clicking this link.
In the interests of full disclosure, I am not a list-maker. I believe in living life by riding the torrents and waves of pure chaos wherever they take me. However, sometimes lists do help present information in a more user-friendly way, and I believe this is one such occasion.
The List of Reasons I Don’t Make Lists
1. The first thing I write down is always the first thing that comes to mind.
2. The first thing I write down isn’t always germane to the list I’m creating.
3. Sometimes I include things on lists because I can, and not because they belong there.
4. I am so going to get some ice cream after publishing this post.
5. Too many times, I’ll forget to write something when I create a space for it.
6. And that’s it!
7. While lists can present items in direct order, mine often are not in intellectual order.
I’m a fan of literary writing, writing that does more than just tell an interesting story. The human imagination is the limit, unlike certain constraints with more visual media. Writers have the opportunity to go beneath the surface of a subject in ways that other media can only envy.
This kind of exploration is something I strive for in my own work. While I try to create a plot that’s entertaining, I also try to weave extra things into my writing to reward people who look for more. Use of color, specific repetition, and double meanings all can be useful in hiding things in plain sight. Some writers might not think they are necessary to a novel, but I believe they can add depth and feeling to one.
Granted, adding this depth isn’t always easy. Sometimes it does come naturally from how I feel about a subject, or how my view of a character changes over a story. When I first started writing, I would fight these urges to the utmost, trying to pigeonhole my writing into what I had planned. Nowadays, I’ve learned to accept these happy accidents, like hidden swirls of color buried in clay.
The point is, going deeper into something – even for shorter works – is something worthwhile.
If you write, what sort of hidden treasures do you think you can find?
Trying to work on my new novel and work on the blog here has proven to be a little difficult. I’m in the revision process, that part of working on the novel where the story has to get fixed, writing cleaned up, mistakes corrected, and attention paid to every little detail. Sweating the small stuff carries a whole bunch of pressures that are different than writing the rough draft.
On top of this is the added pressure of not having an editor to look over my work. While I’m saving up to get one, right now I’m putting on two hats. Self-editing is not easy, and there’s a reason why people recommend getting a second set of eyes on a manuscript. Moreover, the kind of editing I need – copy-editing – is more involved than just checking for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. This kind of editing improves the story itself.
Not everyone can self-edit, and even people who can do it might agree with me that in a perfect world, they’d get an editor anyways. There is always going to be that problem story point that was forgotten, or that silly punctuation mishap that never got caught. Releasing mistakes like that is embarrassing, and it adds to the stereotype that self-published writers don’t produce the best work.
Still, the novel has to get completed, and I want to get more involved in the writing community here at WordPress. This means working on daily post prompts to generate ideas for blog posts so I can keep most of my creativity working for my book. While I expect a better quality dystopian science fiction novel after this process is over, it means shorter and simpler posts here.
Maybe this will work. Like all other things, success involves putting in the effort. Writing has been a dream of mine for a while, so I won’t give up easily.