Let the Story Happen

For those that write on intuition, do you sometimes find it difficult to continue writing on certain parts? Like you hit a wall when before words flowed like water? I often wondered why that is. It’s not like I hit the dreaded middle point or anything, it’s too early, or too late for that to happen.
I personally think it’s because that certain parts are not supposed to be. If you’ve written parts of the story already, chances are that you have a plot in your mind and you try to make the characters reach those points. For planners, or whatever they are called, I call them planners, that’s perfectly fine, but for those that rely on intuition, that is how a story die.
I recently read Stephen King’s book On Writing and he says that plot just happen. I have to agree. You cannot force your characters to do anything, at least I can’t – they struggle…
I have tried a lot of ways to write but I think the way I find most enjoyment from writing is when I let go. I clear my mind and make it a point to never use anything I’ve already written. I will rewrite the story over and over until the characters stop struggling.
I don’t know if this will produce particularly good stories. There are many things one must consider when making a story, but if it flows easily and doesn’t resist, I think that’s a good foundation to expand on.

Fairbanks Island – Day 3

I have to admit something, this is not the first draft I’m working on, but it might as well be because I’m approaching it with a fresh mind. The first stages of writing is always messy, in my case. I jump from ideas to ideas and often lose my way before I struggle to find my way back. I have tried different ways to remedy this, but it seems that’s just how I write. It’s suppose to be chaotic until you find your way and I think the story is starting to settle in my mind. In any case, here’s part of chapter 2, unedited: You can keep track of my progress HERE.

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Fairbanks Island – Day 2

Damn, I cannot help to edit… Whenever I start a new day of writing, I re-read the last chapter so that I get back into the flow, but when I do, I often find new things I want to add so that is what I have done. You are not supposed to, but I find it fun… Here’s the edited version (and significantly longer) chapter 1. You can keep track of my progress HERE.

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Fairbanks Island – Day 1

I told myself I would post my writing progress every time I write in the hopes to destroy the perfectionist in me and break the taboo of the first draft. This is the unedited version of FairBanks Island (Title Work-in-Progress)

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About Stories and Doubt

I’m gonna be frank, I’m rather angry at myself… You know as a writer (or an artist) you get excited over a project? You work it in your head, for a little bit, then you write it down in a first draft, all easy, all fun! But somewhere along the way, the story just doesn’t excite you anymore… I don’t know why this happens, why, at a certain point, it gets so hard to finish what I started?

I had a story, written about 4-5 years ago which I finished in 6 months. I had no experience at all about writing and didn’t know what I was doing, but I finished it, and I had fun. Then I showed it to other people and I realized that I couldn’t write for shit. I absorb their critique, I really did, and it helped, to a degree. I wanted to prove that I’ve become better and I wrote a short story. I really liked it, and people liked it too, at certain parts.

They didn’t like the ending, specifically, and even though I thought it ended where it should, I tried to find more of the story when there was nothing there. (I guess it was the best kind of critique, they wanted to know more, after all) but I think it was then doubt started to seep into my mind. I tried so hard to make the story the way that they wanted, but in the end, I could not finish it.

It broke me, I think, because I haven’t been able to finish anything since; nothing longer than a thousand words, anyhow. I honestly began to think that if I worked on a story too much, I’d ruin it, much like I did with my short story. Which is silly, everything you do makes the story better, you are building it, one word at a time. But I cannot shake this doubt. In my head, the story I’m now working on is ruined and is beyond salvageable.

I really want to believe that what I write is better than I think it is, which is why I’m gonna try something.

I don’t care how awful the story turns out, I need to finish something! No matter how awful I think it is. I need to believe that every word is an improvement, or at least one step closer to finding the story, or the fossil, as Stephen King would say – I really recommend his book On Writing.

So here’s the deal: I’ll be posting everything that I write, unedited, on the same day I write it. No matter how little, or how much I end up doing, it’s gonna get posted. I’m effectively gonna spam my own blog with garbage! I hope you’ll bare with me, but I understand if you choose to leave.

 

Good Ideas Will Never Leave You

Ever tried just writing something down without anything in mind? Often, a word or a sentence will appear… anything can be formed then; a story, an essay, a poem, a blog post, a diary entry, anything. These are the true thoughts, those that have festerd and merge with other ideas for lord knows how long, until they become true. They are the thoughts you’ve resisted to write down because the written thought is where they come to die, they’ll leave you.

However, thoughts that come to you because they were written, they are the thoughts that you would never have considered without a pen in your hand or a keyboard in your lap. They are thoughts that amaze you to such a degree that you can hardly believe they come from you. You wonder if maybe somebody else is guiding your hand, telling you what to write.

When I write fiction, I have countless thoughts that it would be impossible to return to all of them, because they are a mess, and sometimes incoherent and only makes sense to the person I was at the time. I always fretted over this, trying to organise them so that I could find them easily, but that ended up taking as much time as writing itself, and, I found that I rarely returned to them. Instead, I’d write them down again from memory and I believe that is for the best, because you only recall what sticks with you and those ideas are often the best parts.

What we need to realise is that a story is organic, and so is your mind. Accept your flaws and the unknown. Embrace that there are things beyond our explanation and let it shine through your writing.


© Christopher Stamfors

Our Mind’s a Stranger

They say you must write to learn, to ascertain information better. I wonder if that’s true. Surely, some information can simply be absorb into our consciousness, surely, we don’t need to know the details, only it’s there to be gathered when needed – which is never when others want you to need it…

We won’t remember it clearly, of course, that’s not because we have poor memories, but because the information has been twisted and transformed; merged with other ideas in an indistinct way that cannot be ascertained. But we know it’s there, we know it when we write it down, when it’s fully formed, when it has festered in our brain.

Trying to force a memory is never good, because those ideas aren’t fully formed, they aren’t ready to come out; and they will never come out how you remembered them once they submerge into the recesses of your mind. They are twisted as thoughts gather upon each other until they become part of who you are. Only such thoughts are worth coming out, when they have been untangle and rearrange the twisted mess into something comprehensible, present it in a meaningful way for others and yourself.

But can we truly trust that this will happen, or will the thought be lost in the void if not printed on paper? Let me ask you, will you ever return to a note? The thousands of ideas and thoughts collected over the years? Most likely no, why should you? You have new thoughts every day, what makes the past ones special? They aren’t, because they are shallow thoughts, the genesis of greater ideas that is now is gone because it is now on a piece of paper… Words are where thoughts come to die, or be recreated, you choose which is which.


© Christopher Stamfors

Ignition of Change – Poem

A story is nothing but the preparation of change.

How to reach this point sets the road ahead.

The writer must find this road and not steer from it.

We don’t know the characters in our minds but in our hearts.

At the end of the road they’ll be known in our minds too.

It is then when the writer shines.


© Christopher Stamfors

A Murderer – Poem

The world is not kind to murderers,

is what they want you to think.

In truth, it’s an asset!

They know what you are.

They know you are of use.


© Christopher Stamfors

The Core of the Tale

Perhaps that’s just how some stories are? Some are more demanding than others. They demand rewrites and the plot doesn’t come out as smoothly as you want. Perhaps the process is the mistakes? Finding the story can be difficult but that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn from your mistakes. Letting go of our wishes and desire, our egos and all the other things that make us hurry is the hard part. You must trust your instincts and let the story guide you to where it wants to take you, without ever getting attached to what you’ve already written.

But a story can’t just be anything, the idea sprung from something, the core, if you will. There must be a core where everything else grows from? You can’t change the core because that would mean it’s an entirely different story and there’s nothing to guide you along the way. If you don’t have this ‘core’ in mind, your tale can be anything, and that’s when it starts to get messy and unfocused. Basically, it means you’re writing all stories, and no story, at the same time…

I’m not sure myself if this is the case. I’ve only just come to this realisation and I’m certain that I will find the truth, sooner or later. But take my story, for instance: the core idea is that a boy finds a magical pen, nothing more, nothing less. The story revolves around this. Now, what the boy does with that pen, where the pen comes from and who the boy is, is up to the author to find out. Everything is fair game. But my hopes are that if I keep the core in mind and put my trust in the tale and don’t ignore anything, writing will be so much easier.

I’ll keep you posted how it turns out.

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