Out of curiousity, I just googled ‘writing exercises.’ I found a site that has a five minute exercise per day for every day of the year. The first one I read is something like… George has high blood pressure. His wife has just come home from the grocery store; she has bought things that are not good for George. Write with dialogue.
I read it and could almost picture my brain yawning.
I don’t usually like other people’s exercises, with a few notable exceptions. Birdwatcher lent me a book called Wild Mind or something, and it was chock full of delicious ideas that I was delighted with. Most of them were more vague, though. Such as writing for fifteen minutes, continuing with the statement ‘I remember.’ This is what I like – my own choice of ideas, words, paths to explore. I don’t really give a fuck about George’s high blood pressure (he couldn’t even have an interesting name, could he) or the massive fight he and Georgina are about to get into.
I can picture some Spaghetti Os spattering against the walls, but this is shortly followed by my metaphorically brain as the gunshot rips through my head.
(Ooh, this reminded me of the bit in The Shining where the dead guy’s brains show up on the wall in the Presidential Suite. Sweet!)
I was writing in my paper journal this morning about how my problem isn’t with characters, it’s with story. This is perhaps the opposite of when I am verbally storytelling, and also perhaps the opposite of the way I’d like to be. That being said, those godawful Dan Brown books. He may be able to plot a fast-paced story, but his character description is worse than in romance novels written for housewives. Actually, he’s probably one of the worst (albeit famous) writers ever.
Whereas Stephen King is all about the characters (and also ends up with pretty solid plots, as well), and his stories seem driven more by the people in them than the events. I think that’s not a bad way to write, and maybe it makes sense for me seeing as I’m all up in other people’s psychological spheres all day long.
The key is managing to start writing without stopping because it’s going no-no-nowhere.
In other news, when I went to the hospital they asked about 65362575 times if I was pregnant and finally bullied me into taking a test. This sort of heterosexist thinking really got me angry, and it was surprising that TMD had such a wildly different take on things, saying I should just go ahead and take the test. Let’s think about when I last had sex with a man – probably 1998 or 1999. Unless he had some long-life sperm, I don’t think that’s going to do the trick.
I fully accept they had legal reasons to ask. I also accept that theoretically I could be cheating on TMD and fucking men. But surely they should have asked her to step out of the room and to speak to me alone if that was an issue?
I finally caved because the lovely surgeon (the only one who was not completely – and I hate this word – retarded about us being a lesbian couple) begged me to so she wouldn’t get in trouble with her boss.
I think it also probably annoyed me because I would like nothing more to be pregnant, and having to tell 50 different people 100 different times that I was not pregnant was fairly harsh.