Thursday, January 25, 2007

Easily distracted: not a good thing for a writer, sometimes

Distractability--Here I finally start to read through and edit my hard copy of 'Hounds' and after one short phone call I am on the computer, wandering through livejournal and blogspot.

So I got a job, which means the updates here will either be a little earlier or much later, but I'll still try for some consistency. Bit at least I can say that I -did- start the edits.

Out in the world, being easily distracted, for a writer, seems both a good and bad thing. The bad part being obvious: too distracted and you never write anything.

But the good, as I see it: Maybe you're too focused on something while writing. Focused to the point of getting stuck because you can't see anything beyond that small point. But then a noise or a bit of movement or a color or (fill in the blank) distracts. You walk away. Come back. And sit down to stare at that part of the writing, but now your eyes are used to taking in more of your surroundings and you can view the whole page or the chapter. maybe then you can move on.

Or you're out in the world, literally, walking through a store or down the street. You're distracted by something, which draws your attention to something else and so on. Any of those 'something's and 'so on's could become the spark for a new story or the answer to a plot issue with a current story. (Just try to avoid it when crossing busy intersections.)

Distractability gives a writer a new perspective, a different focus, which I think could really help creatively.

Just don't let it drag you away from your goals for too long, just long to help.

And as a bonus: "pet words" We all use them (I've used my special pet word twice in the sentence above). I say that some of them are okay when used sparingly in a story, but be careful during your edits and cross off the ones you honestly don't need.

My list, of course, is by no means complete, but I know I suffer from most of these. Any other words that fall under this heading?

really
just
very
that
actually
suddenly
had (Technically correct to say, "She had called him an hour ago," but I think it works as well without it)
well (especially in dialogue)
...and I'm sure I suffer from more that aren't occurring to me right now.

2 comments:

writtenwyrdd said...

I probably have pet words, but I really notice pet HABITS. Like repeating myself.

Sabrina said...

Lately, I've noticed I'm starting to speak like my older sister. "Seriously." "I know, right?" "Dude, you don't even know." But once I noticed I was doing it, I could catch myself before it came out. So weird.