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Clothing Optional?

If you like the sensation of standing naked in front of people, then writing might be the life for you. The exposure, of course, is what this is about. I either need to be okay with this or quit, because if a writer has any hopes at all of audience for her art, she needs to stand up and be naked.

The first time I stood up sans protective ego-clothing, it was to show my screenplay (see Why I’m Here) to an agent. She read my nudity and gave me feedback. I didn’t die. Didn’t even catch a cold. I was uncomfortable. Simply uncomfortable.

Since then, I’ve been taking my clothes off more and more. I keep thinking the more I do it, the easier it will be until I’m a pro swinging on a pole in a bar out by the airport. But no, still cold, still uncomfortable.

Still standing.

My last critique group was interesting. One of the members suggested my protagonist have a Happily Ever After with a different character than I had intended. I crossed my arms in front of my goose-pimply skin (because of my nekkidness) and stuttered that my novel was written, including the ending.

We went over the plot together but I think she’s dubious. And she thinks she’s right and I’m wrong. No feeling like the feeling of doubting your naked self.

I’m following my instincts, though. I hear her argument that an audience likes tropes. I’m breaking trope. Now I don’t get too crazy and am confident the readers will see and trust I can take them to a satisfying ending. I’ll just be uncomfortably exposed as they read it and subsequently judge it. And me. In the nude.

The theme ~

My trope is divorced woman learns to love again. I was playing the, “what if,” game with this and I came up with:  what if she made the same mistake? How far would she go? What would it really take for her to, “learn to love again”?

What’s hot on TV these days? Naked and Afraid. Dating Naked. Buying Naked.

Naked Writing? Yeah, that a thing.

 

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Why I’m Here

I had a crazy idea a couple of years ago. Actually I’ve had crazy ideas all my life. But what I thought was simply daydreaming, in fact, was plotting.

Plotting, not in a nefarious, revenge-seeking sort of way, but plotting stories. Some of them good. A lot of them not fit for public consumption. But I thought all of them worth writing down somewhere. I tried journaling, video diaries, dictation apps, etc., but none of those scratched my itch, so to speak.

I confessed this to a business coach with whom I was working. She asked me what I was reading. I had to admit to nothing from the fiction section in a long time. She gave me some suggestions and told me to explore the urge. That it would awaken my creativity in my business. M’kay.

So I asked my mom for one of her old Kindles and loaded it up with everything from Historicals to Contemporaries. Inspired, I did what authors did in the olden days. I sat down at my laptop and opened up a Word document.

I start to write. My first effort was only dialogue, like a screenplay. I even formatted it like a screenplay and networked with screenplay folks. I ended up with a credit as a script consultant on a sitcom pilot. That experience only garnered me the knowledge that I’m not cut out for showbiz.

Oh. My. Stars. No.

I put the “screenplay,” away and quickly outlined another plot. I read everything I could get my hands on about “craft.” I was never the cool chick with the tortoise shell glasses who edited the school newspaper or lit mag with loads of poems under the sash of her vintage dress. I needed an education STAT.

Well, the thing’s written. We’ll see.

And here’s the pitch:  A divorced songwriter chases love and creativity to the edges of success before she crash lands and is forced to explore her true desires.

Any suggestions at any time about anything on this blog is welcome. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.