Well of course it is bound to happen. The struggling writer ends up with a few months’ worth of rejections and most ordinary folk begin to conclude that there is something wrong with their output in either substance, style, or both, or maybe because their pen-name is all wrong (Perhaps Prehenderghast Devilblade sounds better as a character?). Anyway the flow of creation grows sluggish and thence stagnant, and it is very depressing to be sitting there at a keyboard with the minutes seeping away and nothing but ‘There was…’ on the page. (Although though give Derryk his due, he did send that off to a poetry magazine, in the hope that someone might read something into it- apparently they didn’t)
One answer to this is to start off with the vaguest notion of a plot or even just an idea and then give way to the Stream of Consciousness approach to writing, not even bothering to wonder about structure or even content, just bang out the words as they flow from your mind, considering how the character might feel if you were the character and not someone who you thought might be the character…….. Think of the work as a loaf of bread, a number slices which individually looks small but placed in a wrapping has a substance which says unto the world ‘I Am Bread!’
And speaking of Bread I don’t know how things are in the rest of the world, but in the UK, when sliced bread came out first and developed we had Thin Sliced Bread and Medium Sliced Bread and finally Thick Sliced Bread, but gradually the Medium became the Thin and the Thick Became the Medium and thus did the manufactures lead into the realm of Extra Thick or Toasting Bread to make us think we were getting something extra!
‘Getting something extra. When we are just getting the same for a higher cost,’ Garnstang said bitterly and ground the half smoked cigarette into the pavement, noting with grim satisfaction the look of distain from the approaching young woman; he’d forced her out of her fashionably secure bubble to make her fashionably reactive pose’
Now you carry on like that for an hour or so, with a cup of favoured herbal brew at your side at that stage you should stop because you might be getting out of breath, or annoying another householder by the sound caused by the frantic tapping of the keyboard. Anyway you’ll have to go back to Spell-Check to make adjustments and also there will be time spent make dismissive noises at Word’s accusation of you using Reflexive Pronouns or Fragments.
You should then consider does this stand as a narrative or could you take portions and put them in other places or adds bits on. Taking the example above:
‘Think of work as a loaf of bread…..’ that could be said by another character desperately trying to find a way to justify their humdrum existence.
‘And speaking of bread….’ Could be amended to ‘Huh! Don’t’ get me started on Bread’ which could be spoken by a second character and adapted into their view on consumer society.
The other bit of Garnstang should stand as if is. One should always have a bitter character who is being obnoxious.
(In the 1950s- 1970s in the UK you couldn’t move for these types spitting out their bile or ‘earthy’ (moronic) views at hapless and passive other characters. Apparently all were metaphors for what was wrong with Society while the author missed the entire point that what was wrong was with the character themselves….Looser!! They seemed to be more nuanced these days and tend blame corporations, governments or small town social groups)
Anyway there you have the start of something, three disaffected folk in a town, there’s bound to be something you can do with that.
Annnddddd you’ve started writing again!!!
‘Who cares about those editors and agents! What to they know’ you say to yourself and stride forth once more on another venture and this time….It will be different!!
(Go writers! Go!!)