Coming Back to an Idea

As a writer a lot of my time is spent exploring a narrative idea. I’ll come up with a hook for an idea. A first five pages, if you will, and then attempt to craft the story around it. The problem is, I often abandon an idea once I become sufficiently bored of it. It’s not as much writer’s block as it is coming to the conclusion the idea wasn’t as good as I initially thought.

This happens on literally every story I write. I’ve come to the conclusion that a part of my process is a page 1 rewrite, usually between drafts 3 and 4. Those are the ideas I’m very passionate about. The ones that nip away in my brain so I can abandon what wasn’t working in the first couple drafts, keep what did work, and build around all of that. With other ideas I can’t quite peg down what works other than the basic idea. Those I allow to fall away. I forget about them for a while.

Then all of a sudden they come back and they click.

Most of the time it’s during that time between getting into bed and actually falling asleep. See, when I can’t get to sleep I tell stories in my mind which eventually lead me to sleep. Which is, like, the best. Seriously guys sleep is so dope. Anyway, recently the stories the bubble to the surface have been some of my older ones, but this time they click in ways they never did before.

I think the reasoning for this is simple. I’ve gotten better at writing. That’s not meant to sound pompous but some of these ideas were from high school or college (or admittedly much more recent times) and the writing I have done recently has vastly improved my capabilities. Dungeons & Dragons has also done me a great service. When you can’t control the characters you learn to operate the environment and people around them, a great skill for storytelling. Alongside that, co-hosting a podcast that breaks down specifics of a TV series gave me great insight into how an episode is constructed. Oh my god this post sounds so pretentious.

So I’m coming back around to old projects (Including this blog. I have to stop randomly abandoning this blog) and this time I’m doing them justice. Then, somewhere around their third draft, I’ll rebuild them from the ground up. I’m excited. I don’t think I’ve been this excited about my writing for a long time.

This is basically my reason for explaining why I haven’t been posting here for so long. It’s not that I haven’t been writing, it’s just that I haven’t been writing here. But I find this blog keeps me honest and keeps my working so let’s keep the party going. Here’s an informal contract between you and me; dear reader, I promise to post at least once a week. What will be in the post could be anything; it all depends on where the fun is. That’s Jordan Peele’s writing strategy, go where the fun is, and it’s working out pretty well for him so far.

Today’s post is short. They won’t all be.

-JP

PS, I’m not joking about that sleep thing. Like, I wouldn’t sleep for 10 hours but man those 7 or 8 I do get are stellar.

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