Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mary's Rants - Stages

Have you ever noticed that life comes at you in stages?

Have you ever noticed that writing is a lot like life. It comes at you in stages. Shall we compare?

The first stage of your life is birth, correct?

What is the first stage of your writing? Where do your ideas come from? You have a kernel of thought or image and it grows until you give birth to a full blown idea.

The second stage of your life is infancy / toddler.

Your story is toddling on wobbly concepts. If you're a plotter, this is the beginning when you're writing down your first scene, and throwing out more than you keep. Or if your a panster this is when you're whipping out your words, getting to know your characters.

The next stage of your life is adolescent.

The characters are still gangling and awkward. You as the author are still trying to form them.

Then comes the young adult stage.

Finally your story is becoming innovative, character or plot driven. It's turning into a fine young story.

The next stage in life is adulthood. Maturity.

Your story has found it's footing, and direction. The black moment has passed an it moves into maturity to the finish.

Then in life it's time for old age, the time of reflection. The time of life when you have wisdom. The wisdom you wished you'd had during young adulthood, and/or when you were raising your kids.

Your story is done, it's time to edit. Review the characters, the middle to see if it's sagging. Make sure the words shine. Now you know your characters inside and out, it's time to make sure the reader does. And likes them. The time for refection and wisdom.

There are many things that you can compare to writing if you think about it. But for some reason today I was thinking how my life changes with each stage I go through. Not unlike my stories when I'm writing.

Okay my rant is over for the day. Have a good one.


Cassy Pickard said...

Good comparison, Mary! But, I am editing my story and trying hard not to hit senility by over working it!!

Liz Lipperman said...

How true this is, Mary. As you said, whether you're a plotter or pantser, writing is definitely in stages. One of my favorite parts about starting a new story is getting to know the characters. There's a lot of power in deciding even the simple things like their names and what they do for a living.

Thanks for the reminder about how rewarding writing really is…like raising a child.

Mary Martinez said...

Cassy, I think I'm already at the senile stage.

Liz, you are so right. Our stories are our babies, we have to guide and nurture them.

Lindsay said...

Interesting analogy Mary except for one salient point. I wasn't born. I was hatched.

Mary Martinez said...

Lindsay, sometimes ideas are hatched!

Lindsay said...

At the ideas that are hatched are usually the best.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Great post Mary. I love the whole process of writing. From the first idea to the polishing stage that adds the sparkle. I'd be lost without my writing.

Mary Martinez said...

I think anyone who is a true writing would be lost with out. We have too many characters romping around in our heads.

Sometimes I wonder if those people in early times who filled the insane asylums and talked to people in their heads were really writers talking to their characters.

Taryn Kincaid said...

Hi, all. Haven't been able to catch up in a while.

I'm with Cassy. Both me and my writing have been slipping into dementia stage, it often seems!

Anyway, hope to see some of you at RWA National this year!

PS to Liz: Thanks for helping to judge our HVRWA contest!

PPS: My Regency is coming out 2/28 and has a pretty gorgeous semi-steamy cover! Thrilled.

Lindsay said...

Dementia Taryn is only a state of mind of which I relish in.
I love Regency so will have to look for your book.