Saturday, March 24, 2012

Write Dangerously

My crit partner, Laura Pauling, coined this phrase recently (she's awesome, go read her blog and then come back...I'll wait...)

Ok. So if you know me at all, you know I don't do anything dangerously. I look both ways. I drive the speed limit (more or less), I don't drink to excess, I avoid the thrill rides.

But Writing Dangerously. Hmmm. What does that mean? Here's what I think it means...

Taking chances with your writing. Writing outside the box. Changing characters personalities. Eliminating characters. Cutting out stuff you love. Killing the darlings. To make it better. Stronger.

I heard Cynthia Leitich Smith speak once--and she talked about writing the first draft of her whole novel. And then deleting the whole thing (yes, on purpose) and starting over again when she knew her characters better. Now that's writing dangerously.

I still don't think I could do that. I have to save the previous, oh, twenty or so drafts. But I did start writing on a clean, white page yesterday. Writing in first person. And trying to write my MC a little less naive. A little stronger. Same story, slightly different twist.

I'm only 1000 words in. And who knows how much of it I'll keep. But I'm trying. Not that I'm riding the roller coaster any time soon, but who knows?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I couldn't do it.
I follow Laura. And I just read an interview with Cynthia this morning on Laura Barnes' site. What are the odds?

Laura Pauling said...

So cool! Thanks for the shout out. I can't wait to read your new pages! Srsly.

Charmaine Clancy said...

I could never delete - I'm too frugal, even if I rewrite I figure I can use that other stuff somewhere else.
Wagging Tales

Aubrie said...

I could never write a whole first draft and then throw it out! That is so brave!

I need to write more dangerously myself! Great concept!

Theresa Milstein said...

Cynthia Leitich Smith writes a little too dangerously for me!

I try to take more chances. Writing dangerously is a good philosophy if we want to grow.

Ansha Kotyk said...

I did get you on the Chimney Drop at Santa's Village... you can do this! :)