How to write fiction

How to write fiction stealing time from life

Tenet? No, this ain’t such a plot. It is something like a said about Argentinians: “sencillito y carismático[1]. Because when one writes, earthquakes come and happen…. I mean, things come unannounced. Life throws anything that can be thrown your way. Laziness included.  

To Cathy Birch, author of “The creative writer’s workbook” says that all of a sudden; doing the laundry, reviewing your twits, reading webtoon, going to May’s party or leveling up Manor Matters[2] becomes even more attractive or relevant than getting seated and write.

Plus, real jobs[3]. Then writing or designing goes to forth or fifth place. We just don’t have this inner drive to stare at white pages with better eyes than the ones we use to look at the dishes on the sink[4].

To Cathy, the solution is quite opposed to what Chuck Wendig and others propose. To place your a…amazing derriere on the chair and write the humongous amount of 25,000 words a day[5]. The other alternative being to sit down, scribble a little, tear it apart, compress it to a ball, measure the parabola of a trajectory  and throw it to the bin since you have no idea what to put down in paper. Cathy calls this pantsing, a term that has no translation to Spanish. Something to do with scene planning and blah blah…to deal with later.

So…none of the two above sounds appealing. I can’t figure out how to sit 7 hours a day staring at a white page. I feel like getting up and do something else. Having a job? Impossible. Do you have kids? Even less. Unpractical. So what to do? (Inner yelling).

We use a regular short slice of time….OK. Put aside 10 minutes a day to write. It can be 10, 20, 30 or as much as you can spare. WRITE. WRITE AND WRITE. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Is it appalling? Give a sh….shiatsu. Good, bad, whatever, writing a little at a time is much more than nothing. And when you believe you already have something that makes a bit of sense, then yes! Compare, expand, edit, explore. Immortal prose is to be born of doing, not from thinking if it is good or not. If it is good or bad, there is only one way to make it better….WRITING.

If you’re, like me, not familiar to work with self imposed objectives but those the company sets out for you; this helps a lot. But a lot. Our inner judge tends to make fun of our own tryings and; oftenly it will have us giving up because “we are not good enough”. Maybe we are not…so what? This is not the time to wonder, it is time to write.

Ready? 10 minutes in the timer, your behind on the chair, pen and paper (or smartphone). Go! Write. Think later. So like this, suscribe and do something for the sake of the universo.

[1] Simple and full of carisma; it is a mocking phrase about Argentinian carácter but the truth is they quite have reasons to be proud of themselves.

[2] She doesn’t say it quite like this, I’m adding some of my own “demons”.

[3] Something your nephew can do easily, right? In third world countries, these jobs are looked at as fancy stuff to do in your free time….Wait, even in powerful, technologically advanced countries, it is underestimated.

[4] For those of you with a dishwasher…this ain’t a trouble at all. But for us in the third world still washing dishes by hand…

[5] Can someone explain to me how to achieve such a feat? I belong to the minimalism about words. Almost, almost to the micro novel style. A paragraph is already a lot for me.

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