rtw 176. driving forces 5/16/10

i am plot-driven.

the character is almost always me, so that is not it. and where i feel i need most work is in character-driven storylines. i feel that my characters, when seldom they aren't me, fall flat.

sometimes i fall flat, too. because i recycle, repeat, and reuse.

and i'm not trying to find my place in the world, so my writing isn't universe-driven.

i write to clear my head. i write to tell my story. i write because i want to help someone. even if it just means that they don't feel abandoned and alone in their problems.

to succeed as a writer, i want to be relatable. i define success as someone saying, 'the way you said that? you put it perfectly. i have been there. i have felt that. reading your words took me back to that place.'

beyond that, to have a physical effect on someone is important to me, too. i want someone to laugh when i write something funny. to cry when i'm heartbroken, and my words reflect it.

to create a pit-of-the-stomach feeling in another body.

i've been told for years now that i'm not good in the communication department. but the thing i keep thinking is, 'what if you just weren't good at translating? what if you were such a shit listener that you just didn't hear what i was saying?' i think i word things pretty well, but usually only in writing. when it comes to dialogue, i am lacking.

i walk around all day, every day, with words swimming in my head. dreams, too, on occasion.

and the way i feel when i wake from a dream, if it is a good one, is the longing desire to keep the dream going. to do something to make it happen in real life, so that the dream can die and then live in another way.

one of the things i fear is that my writing will be compared to someone else's. because i'm suceptible to influence. if i'm reading something dark, i might start writing something dark.

if i'm enjoying the voice of an author, i might start using words they used.

it happened when i read post-birthday world. i read that book so intensely that i heard the narrator's voice in a british accent.

and my thoughts while i was reading, and in the week or so following, were in a brit accent. i didn't write anything other than the blog at the time, because i didn't want to borrow.

upon reading cruddy again, i see how similar my voice is to hers. i mean, she puts things in ways i never could, or would think to. but she NAILS it. and now i think in terms of 'freaking me completely' and 'freaking out' more than i did before i went back and read it again.

i guess what i lack is inspiration. i mean, the novel was inspired by late night sleepy thoughts, as i was drifting. and as it developed, it was purely drawn from my own dreams and my own life.

music is something i can't help but to let influence me. i'm writing in silence now, but it's only because i don't feel like getting up out of bed to put something on.

i just want people to have the feeling i feel when i read a good book or hear a song that alters my existence. when i think, 'god i wish those were my words. i've had those feelings, and said them in so many different ways.' but to condense words accurately into a line or two? that is a gift.

and i believe that if i practice, and try to stretch my boundaries and move outside of my comfort zone, maybe i'll get there.

maybe a place to start is to take a song and write a story about it.

because i can't come up with ideas for stories on my own. i keep hoping that if i do eleven more exercises from rtw, that a novel will pour out of my head again.

though i don't want to re-create the circumstances under which i wrote that book, there's something to be said for a perfect storm. i was so longing, so desiring, for a different situation to call my life, that i created a story.

i just want to be a vessel again. there are not words for how incredible that felt. i just started writing, and literally could not stop.

if the song that is stuck in my head serves as my muse, then that is something.

but all my favorite songs are heartbroken anyways, so am i really straying?

i fear not.

also, i depend on people to affect me in that way, too. if there is a boy to write about, i'm a well. but if there is not, then i find that i have nothing to say.

because i'm secluding myself romantically from boys right now, maybe that's where the dried up feeling comes from. not that i'm a romance novel writer, but i tend to not stray too far from matters of the heart.

i have always believed that i'm only good when i'm heartbroken. i'm only inspired when i am writing about how someone makes me feel, or how i want someone to make me feel.

i need to change this belief. i don't know how to do that.

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