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Thursday, January 22, 2015

What I Learned from Week 2 of 'Finding Your Way Home'

We were invited to 'write as someone else'.

What I learned is that I have great difficulty doing that.

A couple of times I wrote as an aspect of myself instead. The rest of the time I managed it, but struggled. This may be a clue as to why I am no good at writing fiction! I have occasionally written passable short stories, but I'm hopeless at novels, where character is more important.

I habitually write either poetry or nonfiction — essays and articles and things.

I can and do get fictional in the poetry. Never assume they are all autobiographical! Sometimes they are even 'first person' fictions. So I don't know why it didn't work in prose.

Perhaps it was a temporary thing. All I know is, I was too much present in myself and couldn't easily get out of that state.  I didn't yet learn why.

But maybe this is a clue:

I was still writing 'small stones': looking out at the world, not inward. But looking out through someone else's imagined eyes, that was the difficulty. Not so hard to be introspective as a fictional someone else, but hard to have any view of the outside world other than my own!

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