Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sculpting VS Doodling

I've committed my life, okay just July, to the Summer Writing Camp for Parents (boot-up-your-arse-camp) with Rebecca T Dickson and Ranee Dillon. It's been a huge help in keeping me focused and I love the community. 

So here's the latest break-through for yours truly: I gave myself permission to leap-frog forward in my story to keep the flow going. Yup, totally radical.

But hear me out.

In previous posts, I've likened a manuscript to a skeleton, covered in connective tissue, then the meat, and finally covered with flawless skin.

My permission to leap-frog is the freedom to worry solely about the bones of the story. Thigh bone touching the third phalange, the third phalange caressing the jaw bone, jaw bone biting the hip bone .... Whatever! It's totally acceptable because later, they'll be properly connected with muscle so each section functions on its own and in unison. 

I love it when metaphors expand or deepen like this. But then I had another realization. This one was inspired by my digital animator husband, Jeremy of PixelTwister Studio. In his vernacular, I'm doodling right now. Doodling is fast and messy but any artist, especially animators, will tell you that doodles are critical. Get it down, get it out, and discover things as you work. 

Sculpting is what you do later as you bring the sketch into focus. Doodling is to bones as sculpting is to connective tissue. Making the rig move is like adding the meat to the story--the juicy details of movement. 

When I wrote Strong Enough, I leaped around by impulse, aka I impulsively wrote scenes that had no home and I didn't know how anything worked together. But I wrote and wrote and wrote. It was a bitch to edit later, sure, but I had something to edit.

So here's the crux of today's breakthrough. 

I've discussed writing by outline and the limitations hidden within. Well, today's permission to leap-frog forward and connect later was a huge moment. It was as if I blended the two styles together. I've achieved freedom within parameters. I can leap along the timeline or I can leap randomly. The point is don't get stuck. When you're stuck, you over think. Don't worry how you get from point A to point Q. As Rebecca says, JUST WRITE.

And now, for my husband: an actual doodle. I got it down, got it out, and discovered something.
1st Draft