Two nights ago I took a small section of the story that I had roughly outlined it my head. It consists of a flashback to a key event in the main protagonist’s childhood that is very significant for him. In bed I simply told myself the story. No paper, no pen or pencil, no software. Just my inner voice. As the story unraveled from its outline bud into a new leaf I was pleasantly surprised by some of the imagery and metaphors that cropped up. The scene is quite a tragic scene and I decided it worked best – naturally – in the first person as a recollection. This gave a more powerful combination of outward description and inner voice so that the audience (me) was getting bombarded with input from all sides aimed at eliciting the right emotions.
Yesterday I decided to write the segment up as a short piece – around 2,000 words. This was purely an exercise. I wanted to just throw it down into written format without too much criticism. There was no attempt to redraft at this stage. Just to give my story element on-screen ‘flesh’. After about an hour I sat looking at it in black and white on the computer screen before me. I haven’t even read it yet. I wanted to sleep on it first. Besides, that was not the point of the exercise. Leonardo da Vinci once said that the most terrifying thing was a blank piece of paper and he was right. I needed to know that I could overcome that barrier and write something – anything creative.
I will go back and check it through as a first draft should be checked. If I am honest, should I end up scrapping it all it would not matter. The task of writing was the target here. However, I doubt that will happen. the scene is critical and there are at least some parts of what I wrote down that I like enough to want to keep in some form or another.
I also found that my characters drove the story along. There were some emotional moments where I almost just watched what they did and described it rather than make them do it. All in all I was happy with my first ‘plunge’ and would have no problem getting in the water again.