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Today I handed out a very rare rating of 10 for a story. As I understand that it is complete already I didn't feel too bad about rating Colin Barrett's The Dolphin at 10 already. So if you're still reading my blog, I suggest you stop and go read what Colin has posted!
I live in redneckville, or a rural area. I got a call on Friday (yesterday) from the agency that I sometimes work through while searching for a job. I got an address and directions (but not terribly good ones) from the agency and set off for where I thought they said to go... About 55 minutes later I ended up calling the client and asking for clarification. I was not even really in the neighborhood, except that I'd gone North and East of where I live. Except for the Sacramento river, several ravines the 5 freeway etc, et al between myself and there I'd guess the actual location is not too much off from due East or possibly even a bit South East of where I live. All this to say that I should have downloaded a map to begin with so that I could check my understanding of the area.
And what does this have to do with writing?
Well recall that I was previously discussing the necessity of knowing the end? As with getting from place to place, knowing the actual location you want to go and having a set of way points is a vast help to writing.
And further: What does this have to do with my writing here?
I do believe (and if I haven't I am now) I've made clear that I'm lost as far as how to effectively close out It's a Helluva Job I would hate to have it end up feeling as incomplete as On Dog Creek Yet it is sitting there on my page with an incomplete flag on it, that is causing me to strongly regret starting to post it...
So I am looking into something besides writing prompts (I probably have 6 ideas a day that I never get on paper) so that I can take a vague idea and start writing out maps for turning them into stories.
The longer I work (or actually play) at writing, even for my own amusement, the more I'm convinced that the outline is a very important part of the process. Also, it seems from my experience, that you need to know the end point of your story almost more than you need to know the beginning point. Though both are necessary. For in fiction just in life, if you don't know where you are, then you probably have no idea of where you want to go. And if you don't have a clue of where you want to go you spend lots of time either spinning your tires or wandering in the wilderness; neither of which conditions are conducive to a productive life or even a very satisfactory life.
You've blogged as wishing for an editor, but I notice that you have no way of contacting you available. If you wish to work with people, you need to tell us where (or how) you can be reached for correspondence. Thus says an interested proofreader, someone you appear to need...
I haven't written more than a hundred words in a month now. I'm also not working in the real world. However I sat down tonight and began to try to set out the basis of an outline tool. I know that there are tools like this available, but I thought it might help me to write my own, so that I could maybe see some of the deficiencies of my writing. The main thing I'm finding is extreme disorganization. Not that that is any surprise. Just a major frustration. So: Schedule days. Work on outlining, work on actual writing.
It does no good to write a hundred thousand scatter shot words that come to no conclusion.
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