Blogs by Barbara Forte Abate
Pile Up on Information Highway
4/19/2011 8:44:21 AM
When does it all become "too much" information?
Pile-Up on Information Highway
No question, It's fabulous -- the wealth of valuable tid-bits, shared experiences, and memorable advice that can be gathered from the internet. For those of us who started writing "back in the day" before personal computers were the norm and access to the World Wide Web was simply not an option, the main source for studying writing technique, brushing up on the grammar rules some of us so willingly ignored in high school, or mastering skills for 'Writing The Blockbuster Novel" came in the form of hardcover books that we enthusiastically bought and alphabetically shelved in our "writer in training" libraries. Crazy right?!
Yes, but of course that was before, in the faraway and long ago dinosaur days. We've come so far, learned so much, and "Googling it" brings an immediate answer to just about any question. On the average day this is a wonderful thing -- until it all at once feels like too much. Too much information, too much knowledge, too many answers for my madly stimulated, full to capacity, over-burdened human mind to absorb.
Thinking so very hard while working on my novel in progress has the same brain numbing affect of hitting a cinder-block wall at 120mph. Am I showing or telling? A little too heavy on the "purple prose?" Flat dialogue? Character motivation -- how is that holding-up in the ninth chapter? Nothing can make my imagination freeze like a riot of voices pummeling my thoughts. Just one two many boxers crowding the ring.
So what do I do? What works for me? I've learned to coax my wild mind to stay in the moment of writing that first draft by shutting off the external switches one by one, allowing my imagination to write without expectation. Detach from the outcome -- if only for that first run-through -- and simply tell the story.
Only afterward, once the story and characters have made their fledgling introductions, do I reach in and retrieve all those valuable insights I've collected from blogs, tutorials, websites, twitter, Face Book, webinars...and allow them a satisfying run outside the box. I pull out all those collected pearls of wisdom, line them up, plug them in, and get to the real work of cleaning and tidying-up the mess I've made.
And though this approach does prove to work out fine, still, I wonder, is that really the most effective approach, or am I simply a slow learner?
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More Blogs by Barbara Forte Abate
A VISIT TO:THE NEW YORK SCREENWRITING LIFE - Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Writer in Training - Tuesday, August 02, 2011
My Life For Sale - Thursday, July 07, 2011
Comrades of The Pen - Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Reject Rejection - Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Watching Yourself a Little Too Closely - Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The Great Agent Quest - Guest Post - Monday, April 25, 2011
Pile Up on Information Highway - Tuesday, April 19, 2011
A Novel Road Trip - Thursday, April 07, 2011
Queen for a Day - Tuesday, April 05, 2011
The Question of Social Media - Saturday, February 19, 2011
The Joy of Reading - Saturday, February 12, 2011
If You Love a Writer - Thursday, February 10, 2011
Spring Fever - Wednesday, February 09, 2011
In the Not So Distant Future - Saturday, January 08, 2011
Hopeful Perseverence - Thursday, October 28, 2010