Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A04: A Nonfiction Rant on the Conflict of My Fiction

"All students are to blog on your own fiction writing and what you have learned or hope to learn from other fiction writers. If anyone is stymied about a topic, try: Conflict, that is to say, Why Fiction Needs Conflict."

Ah. Well. Conflict. My writing is the conflict, my own fiction writing. I purposefully did not workshop my fiction piece because quite frankly I don't trust it. I don't know what it is... I think my work is in proper form and whatnot... But I have a really hard time actually writing it. I can see the entire scene in my head, I know where I want to take it.... But I fear that in writing it, I am going to lose something. I am going to slice apart some image or trample over some character and it will just wind up being some stranger, a cardboard cutout of the picture in my head/heart. (Sure, in my heart; I feel something for the scenes I want to write, I feel for the characters in it... I don't think it would be worth writing if I didn't.)

I suppose I have a problem with tying together the elements of character and scene. I am pretty good at imagery (as evidenced by my comfort with poetry, I suppose) and I am fairly comfortable with moving my characters around, giving them action... But dialogue? Transition of scene? Not so much. It always seems just a little stilted and flat. I don't understand why, really. As for workshopping to find the solution, I have found that mostly, the things I worry about, people pass right over. Am I my worst critic? Every author is that to themselves -- but I think that what I am seeing is more of the picture in my head than what is actually on the page. Maybe people reading what I write are making their own picture and that helps them with my flat bits?

That being said, I notice that the fiction of other people sometimes does the same thing I worry about -- it brushes over a piece of concrete with spraypaint and you can sort of still see the sidewalk beneath it. From my own experience, I think that my stories do this because I just get irritated with my [inability] to get out the words, and I just move on. Laziness. Maybe if I really sat down and concentrated, I would be okay? I have no idea. I need an intervention. I have noticed, though, that particular stories in our class do a wonderful job of introducing dialogue and transitions of scene. I think it's introducing the transitions with a new plot element...? As for dialogue... I don't know. I don't talk too much, in comparison to all of my friends nearly, so maybe it's just my inexperience with speaking that makes me self-conscious when it comes to my characters - they all wind up sounding like I'm trying to write.... if that makes any sense.

I just hope that I can take how well my classmates have written their dialogue and transitions and maybe learn something from that. Every writer has their own way of writing, obviously, but maybe in looking at what they are doing, I can figure out what my own way might be.


Oh, why-oh-why am I so comfortable with blogging but not with writing stories? Maybe it's because I don't have to worry about characters. Or scene. Or anything. Except: the minute clittering and clattering of my fingers flying across the keys...