We have all faced the excuses. They are so tempting, especially in the busy times in life. For me that’s right now. I’m spending my weekends at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival leading people around the grounds and helping them find things. The garden is getting past the growing stage and I have a lot of harvesting and food prep to do. And since it is the end of summer, it is also the end of my hiatus from my day job. On top of all that Sweetie and the Kitties want my attention and it’s already time to start planning for November (because when you are in charge of herding cats that’s what you have to do). So it is really tempting for me to let the writing slide – just until things “stabilize”.
Writing “In the Dark… We Hope” has been a multi-layered challenge.
First and foremost, the very premise of the book scares me. To be honest, if it wasn’t for the fact that this book has been pestering me to write it for more than 10 years, I wouldn’t be writing it now. It’s just that I know it won’t go away if I ignore it, no matter how much I try. I’ve tried, it hasn’t gone away. So maybe it will leave me alone if I write it. That’s the theory anyway.
I am a writer. Sometimes I feel like I have to defend this basic premise of who I am. I am a writer because I write – most days in fact. I don’t always write a lot, but I get the words out of my brain and into the computer. Therefore I am a writer.
The problem is when I tell people that I’m a writer, they want to know what I have published. I don’t have anything (other than this blog) published yet. I’m a writer, not yet an author.
Avoid cliches like the plague. That’s one of the “rules” of writing. I’m going to take a deeper look at this rule today in my periodic series on “the Rules of Writing.”
Using cliches is a piece of cake. Over using them is as easy as falling off a log. Poor use of a cliche can really get up your nose in no time flat. But a good one well placed makes everything crystal clear.
Let’s take a closer look and why that happens. First a definition of cliche from Dictionary.com:
There are numerous jokes in the theatre world about motivation. There’s a rather famous one in “Noises off” when the director tells a character to take the groceries into the living room. “So, What’s my motivation?” the character asks. The audience knows that the motivation is that someone else just went into the kitchen and the whole point of a farce is to make sure that characters miss each other. That doesn’t help the actor much who is trying for all he’s worth to play the character honestly with real motivation. The farce isn’t funny if it’s too obvious that the director is just trying to keep the characters apart.
I recently spent the a weekend, well six days really, in the company of close to 6,000 fellow geeks. At CONvergence science fiction convention – 4 days of convention plus set up and tear down. It was a wonderful break from the pressures of the real world – the world that tells me daily to hide my geekiness. That’s not to say that there weren’t pressures. Actually quite the opposite. Both Sweetie and I are department heads, meaning we are two of the people responsible for making sure that the weekend goes off without a hitch. There were hitches, but that’s not what I want to talk about.
We have raspberry bushes in our back yard. I discovered them last year when I was out trying to tame the lawn. I came late to the party and the birds and other critters had left only a handful of berries. So I ate them, right then and there.
This year I’ve been a lot better about tending to the yard, the garden and the berry bushes. I was surprised to see how many blossoms there were on the bushes this year. I mean I expected there to be some more than last year – the nature of growth and all that – but not the sheer overwhelming number of them. I anticipated their ripening for weeks.