I can’t even be punctually insecure…

September 7, 2012

Or – I was so excited to tell you guys about Dragon*Con that I forgot about Insecure Writer’s Support Group until today. So sorry about that.

What I’ve been feeling most insecure about lately is storytelling and narrative. I feel that I’ve grown more capable in my use of language over the past year or two, and I’ve never doubted my creativity and imagination. But I’ve also learned that you need to have an instinct for putting together a plot in a way that it’s satisfying to other readers, and I’m despairing a bit of being able to do that, worried that every premise I come up with is cliche, or that every story structure I try to write is broken.

And yet – I keep writing, keep working on the craft, because it’s what I do, and because I know that incredible things can happen if you just keep at it. I’m not sure if I came up with anything actually usable in Camp Nanowrimo this year, but I certainly had fun. And I’m back on Block Revision for ‘Save the Children’ now – and I’m certainly learning good things there, with the HTRYN course.

Are you insecure or secure lately?

Insecure Writer’s Support Group – February

February 1, 2012

Well, it’s the first Wednesday of the month, and time to check in with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and share some of our troubles and/or encouragement with fellow insecure writers.

I’ve already unloaded a bit about how hard I’m finding it to start writing new short stories. Partly that’s because I’ve learned so much lately about what a good short story needs to do – to show us the most important thing that happens in a character’s life, show them struggling against a great obstacle and taking charge of their own fate, and growing as a person.

And as I try to think of story ideas, there are the nattering ghosts of doubt that keep whispering in my ear, “That’s a cliche idea, everybody’s done it already.” “Nobody’s cared about that sort of science fiction story since you were four years old.” “That twist doesn’t add anything to the setup.” “What will you ever do for an ending?”

I’ve also been feeling insecure about just how much time I can, or should, throw into my writing, and how long I can keep it up. But I’ve also come to realize that these issues will sort themselves out. I’ll have made progress on the short story front by the end of February.

Whatever it is that we insecure writers have challenging us, we can make it. I know.

Blog the Cat, Chapter 2 – Story Genres

January 22, 2011

Blog the Cat post index.

So, in Chapter 2 of Save the cat, “Give me the same thing… only different!” Blake Snyder talks about how to dance with cliche – you have to be in the vicinity of a cliche, because otherwise your script is probably so out there that most viewers won’t be able to relate to it at all, but not too close. He ties this back into the scenario of pitching your movie – that not only do you have to be able to explain what your movie idea is, but also what it’s most like – and that you have to be very familiar with other movies in your genre, so as to know what the specific cliches are and put your own spin on your story.

He then starts going into detail about his own working list of ten genres or categories, which aren’t organized along traditional lines, because a term like ‘Romantic Comedy’ or ‘Hard Science Fiction’ doesn’t explain anything about the storyline, which is a good point. To run down the story genres quickly, we have:

Monster in the house: Dangerous ‘monster’, (who could be a person,) and people trapped inside an enclosed ‘house’ with it. Lots of running and hiding, usually at least one of the people is morally responsible for the monster being there, and they die while others manage to escape at the end.

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