Sunday, February 19, 2012
Sex and the Writer- Part Four of Five
As in can't get enough.
As in can't be put back into the bottle.
As in the opposite of methodical planning.
As in the opposite of sterile writer workshops group and group critiques.
Look around at the people in your writers group. Are they obsessed with your story? Has it taken them over so completely they can't sleep at night knowing it must be told but still isn't finished? Or are their comments just playing to the "group dynamics?" Take it a step further- are you obsessed with your story? Because if you aren't, no one else will be either.
You might object that obsession can be unhealthy. Over-focus to the point of counter-productive. Sure that can happen. It does happen.
But when darkness pushes daylight over the edge of the world, we can still see because Thomas Edison was obsessed with giving us the electric light. When common people lived in misery during the Depression, John Steinbeck obsessed about their plight. Because of that obsession, he went and worked as a migrant laborer to personally experience their suffering. This magnificent obsession gave us "The Grapes of Wrath."
The great world builders of literature like J.R.R. Tolkein and H.K. Rowling obsessed over their stories, their characters and their themes and now we have "The Lord of the Rings" and Harry Potter.
Obsession is the total focusing of all our energy and desire on one goal.
Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind" was a product of her personal obsession with finding a man who would love her like no woman had ever been loved before.
So take another lesson from sexuality.
Write a story worth obsessing over.
If your story isn't worth obsessing over, write a story that is.