The thoughts, stories and advice of Bill Riddell.

The Fog of Writing

September 18th, 2009 Posted in personal, writing

You may have heard about ‘the fog of war’ – where mistakes occur due to confusion, incompetence and enemy tactics. Perhaps the battlefield is too big and you are overwhelmed, or it may be you are unaware of what you may face.

I’m discovering more and more that there is also a fog of writing, where you get in too deep, too immersed in your own writing and things begin to loose meaning, direction – even all sense.

Its almost like Stockholm Syndrome as well.

The words take you captive, you hate them at first, doing as they say regretfully. But after being stuck in a room together, for what seems an eternity, the lines become blurred. The more you co-operate, the worse they treat you. And somehow you like them more and more – you think they are great.

You begin to think they are the greatest bunch of words to ever hold a writer captive. In fact your now convinced they did not drag you kicking and screaming – you were asking for it. Pleading for some words to come along, take you by the hand for a walk to a better place.

You go along with the gag, pretend your chaining yourself to the computer, and resume each day to put more of those words into action, telling their story.

However, once the writing is done and the words are on the page the truth slowly returns. You have been brainwashed – the fog of writing was so thick you couldn’t see that all along it was a bad story. In fact it’s just awful.

You try to forget about it – hide the pages in a draw and pray the words don’t creep back into your head.

But they do. Take another look, surely its not as bad as you thought.

So what does all of that mean. Well I finally finished the first draft of my second short story (it’s called Dark Charity) and the fog is thick.

I’m not sure if I love it or hate it. The truth probably lies somewhere in-between. There is obviously a lot of work to do, like perhaps a complete re-write, yet I believe the basic storyline is quite good.

Stay tuned.

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