My dream for the upcoming debate for POTUS (2016).

My dream for the upcoming debate for POTUS (2016).
Two intelligent, mature individuals, recognizing their differences and that of the population they represent, discussing and debating their ideas and philosophies on how to bring a divided country back together and reverse fifty plus years of mismanagement and corruption created by the warring political parties whose prime agenda is to defeat the other and deny representation of more than half the population.

Probable reality (if the TV commercials and news sound bites are any indication) will be a childish free-for-all of name callling and personal attacks (against candidates and their supporters) in a continued political war designed to defeat the other and deny representation of more than half the population.

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Two Poetic Thoughts

I seem to be getting poetic these days. I guess in this PC world, where everyone seems intent on doing your thinking for you or shaming and bullying you for not thinking exactly like them, self expression is vital.

“The Human Herd”
I am equal to no other,
Nor am I inferior or superior to any other.
I strive to keep from sinking and drowning,
Losing my self and individual uniqueness,
In the depths of the human herd.

 

“Happy Valentines Day World!”

May the love you feel warm your heart,
Guide your mind to release the soul’s art,
Teach the world the ugliness of hate,
And free the beauty we strive to create!

Not very good, but it comes from my heArt.

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A Voice in the Wilderness

I’m a voice crying in the wilderness,
but my words are carried off by the wind.
None will heed or hear, yet I must speak out.

Cowards hide behind their intentions,
their philosophies, their religions.
These are the delusions; the lies we tell ourselves
to rationalize, and justify our acts of good or evil.

The road to hell is paved by good-intentions.

As human beings we are, and must be, judged by our actions,
not by our intentions.
This is the only truth.
I don’t care what your intentions are, your politics, or beliefs.
I reject your words and acts of hatred.

I reject all you creatures of hate.

When you take hate into your heart, hate fills your mind,
and you live, die and exist only to serve that hate.
Hate has no color, no gender, no politics, nor religion…hate is death.
Hate feeds hate and is sated only by blood.

Hate is the fire that incinerates the soul.

I don’t care if you’re a white supremacist, or a black supremacist;
conservative, or liberal;
chauvinist, or feminist;
Christian, Muslim or Jewish.
I reject any who is offended by,
and hate any, who is not one of them.

Fighting hate with hate, only makes you a creature of hate.

Love is the willingness to take responsibility for someone or something, the people in your life or the world you live in.
Love has no color, no gender, no politics, nor religion…love is life.
Love feeds love and is never sated or hungry.

Love is the womb that nurtures the soul.

I am a human being! I will be judged by my actions;
how I live my life, treat those who travel with me on this world.
I reject color and gender and any religion or philosophy that excludes based solely on the expression of their faith or beliefs.
After all, that is all any religion is; an expression of faith.
If there is a God, that universal spirit or consciousness within us all,
God existed long before human beings created religion.

And God will exist long after we allow religion to destroy us.

No doubt these words sound childish to many,
maybe you should examine your heart if you think so.
If I am childish, then please let me be a child.
Let me be a child in a world where a child need not cry in fear;
surrounded by images and atrocities of hate
committed in the name of race, gender or god.

I’m a voice crying in the wilderness,
but my words are carried off by the wind.
None will heed or hear, yet I must speak out.

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Birthday Promo is Finished

I want to thank everyone who participated in and/or supported my birthday 0.99 cent promo for the kindle version of A Wounded World.  I had 48 orders in the week, my best day being 22.  As a writer I need readers, and I truly believe that this a story that should be read, even as the author I do say so myself.  I do know that a story about death and dealing emotionally with tragic loss is a hard sell. But A Wounded World is also about family, love, and hope.

Those of you who bought the book, please, please pass the word to you friends and family.  If you of the mind, leave a review or at least a rating.  As I said often, indie writers and indie published works such as A Wounded World live or die on “word of mouth”.  Thank you for taking a chance on me, on my story, I don’t think you will regret getting to know Normal and Koren.

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My Birthday Promo

To celebrate my coming birthday, the 14th of May, I’m reducing the price of the Kindle version of “A Wounded World’ to just 0.99 cents.  My novel has 14/5 star reviews (2 more from the UK).

“At times this book made me cry, at times it made me angry at people, at times it made me smile, but in the end it left me with a sense of hope. As I read A Wounded World I became completely absorbed in this story with characters so vivid that they feel very much alive and real. The settings and situations were all too familiar to me as well. Crit Kincaid has a strong understanding of human nature and a gift for describing it through his storytelling.”

“A Wounded World” is a sentimental masterpiece reminiscent of “A Death in the Family,” “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Giants in the Earth.” Kincaid will manhandle your emotions at every turn of a word and at every flashback. You sort of guess how a scene will play out, until it doesn’t.

I hope you’ll give my story a chance, I believe in my heart you won’t regret the time spent with my characters Normal and Koren.  If you do give my story a read, be sure to leave a review and mention your thoughts on Facebook and/or Twitter.  I’m an Indie writer and Indie published works live or die on word of mouth.

amazon.com/dp/B00IJB8RIE
amazon.co.uk/dp/B00IJB8RIE

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An experiment in reality

A child is born. For the sake of clarity, the child is a girl. However, the sex of the child matters little in the course of this experiment. The little girl’s parents take her into seclusion to raise and educate her, including a moral code that states that it is against god and the laws of nature to kill another human being. However, this girl’s parents also teach her that the color of the sky is green and the color of grass is blue.

In this experiment, I’ll define reality as our perception of the world as viewed through the lens of our cultural upbringing, education, personal experiences, and emotional state. This definition postulates that there are as many realities as there are perceptions of the world. So what if this girl learns to associate the word green with the color of the sky and the word blue with the color of grass? Such an individual would merely be an aberration, someone with a personal idiosyncrasy that is hardly threatening, maybe even amusing. After all, there are many weirder beliefs out there.

Yet, what if…this girl is also taught that only human beings believe that the sky is green and that grass is blue, making anyone who disagrees or challenges this belief, in essence, inhuman and a threat to her existence, and to all other true human beings. This becomes her reality, the measure upon which she processes and judges the world. Finally, the last of her education will be to learn the skills needed to protect herself and her beliefs.

Farfetched? Not when any man, woman or child is willing to strap on plastic explosives, step into a crowd, and pull the pin. There’re a lot of beliefs, ideas, and opinions that separates one person from another. In addition, right or wrong, many of us are willing to die and kill for what we believe, especially when we find allies, followers and leaders who echo those beliefs. One person may be an aberration. However, a small group with similar beliefs is a mob, or a gang. An even larger, more organized group, possessing scripture and dogma outlining their beliefs, becomes a religion or a political party. Give these groups a few generations and now we have a culture.

In actuality, at this very moment we all live in this experiment in reality. The three major religions of the world—all of which grew from Abraham’s own relationship with God—are currently at each other’s throats over the differences in how we express our faiths in god. There are sects, and aberrant groups who are so devout that they are willing to make war against even the children of infidels, apostates, and non-believers. The river of history is colored red from the blood of missionaries, crusades, inquisitions, and jihads.

In this nation, an abyss of political ideology divides family, friends, and neighbors. Politically and socially, we find ourselves at a standstill, glaring at each other across that abyss, stones gripped tightly in our hands, poised and ready to defend against those who do not believe as we believe. With each generation, we become more and more intolerant of dissent and opposition of what we believe to be right. We no longer discuss, debate and educate. We attack and destroy using tools and strategies that, under normal moral circumstances, would be considered despicable and unconscionable. We sooth our moral retching with words like RACIST or UNPATRIOTIC, terms that justify any actions that challenge any moral code of conduct. Because of this, the wise and thoughtful of us are pushed aside, unwilling to expose ourselves to that kind of attack. Therefore, we look at ballots and try to find the lesser of two evils. We elect leaders who are mere mouthpieces for party political agendas, which work very hard at trying to assure that the voice of half the people in this nation goes as unrepresented as possible. Why not, they are clearly wrong and need to be isolated and diminished, of not even destroyed for the good of the righteous and the nation.

The problem that needs solving is not that we all believe different things and look at the world differently. After all, that is reality. In addition, the more the diverse a species the better it is at adapting to change in the environment. The human race should be celebrating, encouraging our diversity of thought with respect and honor, even if we don’t agree. When we do treat new ideas and opinions with respect and honor, not only are we testing the validity and righteousness of those ideas but of our own as well. However, this is something that takes a kind of courage that too few seem to possess.

No, the problem that needs solving is this childish, narcissistic need to be right at all costs—even when we are wrong—since right means power and wrong is weakness. This need is what drives us to dehumanize any person who disagrees with us. Once they are inhuman, we’re allowed to lie, cheat, steal and kill in order to defend what is right. The problem is that right and wrong can be as much as an aesthetic as whether we call the sky green or blue, or the grass blue or green. We define our belief of right or wrong with our perception of reality—how we perceive the world—, which is determined by our cultural upbringing, education, personal experiences, and emotional state.

What is the answer? Time? The human race seem to be stuck in this narcissistic, teenaged, ME, ME, ME stage. All I know is that I believe the grass is green, the sky is blue, and there is someone in the world who thinks less of my humanity because of this. Moreover, if I try to express or celebrate my opinion I risk being call a racist or unpatriotic, a Christian infidel or a Muslim terrorist, a tree hugger, religious fanatic or an atheist. Any label that is sufficiently indefensible to reduce my humanity to attack, without the effort of challenging my beliefs. It’s stupid really. Since, no matter what words we use to associate the color of the sky and grass, the world is still a very beautiful and colorful place in which to live. What worries me is that we are in an apparent race; the time needed to grow up vs the speed we are travelling toward our own self-destruction.

Signed,

My voice crying in the wilderness. my reality.

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My ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The story of  my novel “A Wounded World” centers around a character whose granny suffers from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. I chose this disease for one very horrible reason. ALS affects the body but not the mind, stripping away, little by little, the sufferers ability to communicate and interact with the world as he or she dies. “A Wounded World” is a story about being alone, and this woman’s physical isolation mirrors my main character’s emotional isolation.

Recently there has been an up swell of awareness of ALS due to the Ice Bucket Challenge.  So, do my part in return, I will also take up the challenge.  My challenge is thus; between now and midnight of September 1st 2014,  for every Amazon or Kindle  sale of “A Wounded World””

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0989480704

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0989480704

I will donate $1.00 to http://www.ALSA.org.  In addition, should the sales reach or exceed 100 books, I will donate a matching $100.00 and do the ice bucket challenge for all to see.   Please help me with this challenge, if only because Arizona summers are very hot and I could use an ice bath. If not, go to alsa.org yourself and contribute.

Thank You!

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Why Should I care what happens…?

When I was at the University of Arizona, studying creative writing—blissfully ignorant about how absolutely useless a Bachelor’s of Arts degree was to the world in general—I had a teacher by the name of C. E. Poverman. I mention this for two reasons, first and foremost is that Buzz Poverman has just published his sixth book Love by Drowning—which has nothing at all to do with the title of this blog I assure you—and second because of the one very important thing I took away from his classes.

C.E. Poverman

C. E. Poverman’s first book of stories, The Black Velvet Girl, won the Iowa School of Letters Award for Short Fiction. His second, Skin, was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His stories have appeared in the O’Henry, Pushcart, and other anthologies.  His previous novels are Susan, Solomon’s Daughter, My Father in Dreams, and On the Edge.  (From his web site at http://www.cepoverman.com/)

Now I’m not even going to pretend that Buzz would remember me, after all we are talking twenty-two years and many hundreds if not thousands of students between then and now.  But I do remember Buzz quite well. I remember each week, sitting in a workshop class with my fellow students listening to the various comments about our current efforts—the good, the bad and the ugly.  And believe me, I have no doubt that all three descriptions describe my stories and the comments I got quite accurately. But always, after each student had their say, silence would descend around the table and all eyes would to turn to Buzz.  He always had many constructive things to say, complementary and critical, but one thing always stands out in my mind. The question!

“Explain to me…why should I care about what happens to the main character?”

In other words, why should anyone read this story?  Now I’ll readily admit that, as a student struggling to fulfill class deadlines, many of the stories I wrote came more from out of my butt than out of my head. So answering Buzz’s question generally required a lot of sputters, pointing, and explanations with generous quantities of meaningless babble.  Because, obviously, I didn’t know the answer. Why should he—why should any reader care about what happens to my main character?  Well, after twenty-two years, I finally do have an answer to the question. Hopefully a good answer.

Why should you care about what happens to my main character? Well…because I do!

Emotion. For a reader to care about a fictional character an empathic connection needs to be made. When the character hurts, the reader needs to feel the pain. And yet how can I, the writer, expect the reader to cry if I don’t cry, laugh if I don’t laugh, or be afraid if I don’t feel the fear first? For the last twenty-two years, with all my various attempts at writing, all the start and stops, I finally came to a conclusion that whenever I came up to an emotion I froze, or worse turned away from it. With A Wounded World my goal, from day one, was to “turn into the emotion,” take the emotion to its limit. A Wounded World is that emotional journey. The two main characters, Normal and Koren, are as real to me as if they were my own children. Even now, after the book is finished, I still think about them. In the course of writing their story I’ve read and re-read the book dozens of time. And yet, if I open the book and start reading I will get just as involved in their story. For the first time, I’ve written a story that comes as much from my heart as from my head.  And, because of that, I truly believe anyone who reads Normal’s and Koren’s story will find a place for them in their heart.

So Buzz. I take myself back in time, twenty-two years, to sit in your classroom, looking down the long length of the table, waiting for you to ask your question. Why should you care what happens? Because I do…to the very bottom of my heart.

Good luck with Love by Drowning.

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I’m Back!

WOW! My last blog entry was April 1st 2012. Soon after that entry I began a wonderful journey with a young man and a young woman by the names of Normal and Koren. The journey is called A Wounded World. And once I began this journey, I never looked back.  For seventeen months I was consumed by telling Normal’s story. I had no room in my head for any other effort, much less this blog.

I’ll do better. I’m back!

My last set of posts—a lot of whining and self-analysis—were mainly about my struggle to get my writing going again. I’ve always believed that the act of writing is an exploration of the writer’s own mind. Not just what the writer thinks or feels, but how he thinks. How the writer’s mind functions in terms of connecting the imagination to the page. This is the writer’s struggle, his first epiphany of self discovery. In writing this is often expressed in terms of being an outliner or a pantser, the two extremes of method. I had always assumed that I was somewhere in the middle, leaning toward outlining. Yet, to my surprise—and yet it really shouldn’t have been considering my whole world is unorganized—my journey with A Wounded World taught me that I am a pantser.

I‘ve great respect for writers who can outline, but I’m sorry…outlines bore me to TEARS!

The right side of my brain did assert itself though. Once I began writing, and the insecurity  trolls began to hammer and chisel at my resolve, I decided that I would write 500 words a day. The keys to writing are, after all, discipline and accountability.  “So discipline,” says the right brain, “500 words a day and I don’t care what those words are. That’s your problem left brain.” So I started with an idea, basically two characters and an ending, and began to write, aiming for 500 words every day.  Many days I exceeded that, but there were days that I didn’t.

Accountability! Accountability?

I live alone, a fact that I live alone with. I have no one to stand over me, ruler in hand, to make sure I fulfill my obligation of 500 words a day. So saying that I’ll write 500 words a day is all well and good, but how do I make those 500 words such an imperative that I actually feel guilty when I fail. This is where, believe it or not, social media became very useful. Twitter to be exact. “Okay left brain,” said my right brain, “You will not only write 500 words a day—and I don’t care what you write about as long as you write those 500 words—at the end of each writing session you will tell Twitter exactly what you accomplished.”

Twitter!

With only a handful of followers at the time, I realize this was a purely academic exercise. A kind of internet note in a bottle. But the idea that engenders hope is the fact that all it takes is one person to pull that bottle from the water and read the note. So in my mind, every progress tweet, whether or not anyone read or cared, managed to give me a sense of accomplishment and accountability.  Two very important A’s in writing. And I am very proud of the outcome!

A Wounded World, by Crit Kincaid.

This is the story of Normal, a young man who, because of great tragic loss in his life, has become more familiar and comfortable with death than life. Koren is the beautiful young woman who teaches Normal that there can be life after death.

18 months, 6 drafts, 25 chapters, 111,500 words.

A Wounded World Front Cover 3

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Finding a Writing Method and Self Discovery

When a reader reads a story, he or she explores; through the plot, themes and characters of the story, the depths and layers of his or her own mind.  For example, when we read “To Kill and Mockingbird” aren’t we, through the character Scout, exploring the depths of our own sense of injustice and racism?  What does this mean for the writer?  If reading is the exploration of the mind of the reader, guided by the writer’s intent, then the act of writing must be an exploration of the writer’s mind.   An obvious answer, but a concept I have to explore to get my own writing out of the stall.  A writer understanding how his own mind functions doesn’t just mean understanding one’s own set of biases and view of the world at large.  After fifty years I have a fair idea of my own biases, good and bad, and the moral ground on which I choose to stand.  After all, I’ve had to confront and defend them, if not to others then at least to myself many times.  But it also means to understand how your mind functions as a process.  And this, at present, is my struggle.   Because writing, no matter how you look at it, is a process.  And for the process to work, the process must work in harmony with how your mind functions.

After all the reading I have done on fiction writing; the instructional books, the magazines full of interviews and advise, and all the various blog and forums created by struggling thinkers like myself, I have arrived at the only possible conclusion.  There is simply no magic elixir.  Mainly because there are as many methods and processes to writing as there are writers themselves.  Yes I know!  Right know many of you are saying “Well duh, what did you expect to find?”  But I am trying to work though my thoughts logically here, so bear with me.  Besides, this conclusion is not quite so obvious when you look into certain subjects; such as to outline or not to outline, or whether to write genre or “literary” works.  These kinds of discussions sometimes can lead you into an emotional minefield that can actually define you as that “sort” of writer.   You see it today, when important and intelligent writers lambast publically the choices up for literary awards or whine about how social media is poisoning the minds of future writers.  We have created a culture of extremes, with very little room for variation of tastes, ideas or even methodology.  You really see it in our political and religious thinking.  And that is really sad.  We, as the human race, should be growing mature enough to appreciate, celebrate and take advantage of the diversity of the individual, rather than constantly trying to pigeon hole everyone into “us” and “them”.  But that is another blog altogether.

Actually, the argument of whether to outline or not to outline can serve as a useful gauge in my efforts to find a writing process that will suit my needs.  In this argument, there are the two extremes of thought.  The first is the so-called pantser.  This is the stream of consciousness writer, who can sit down and, by the seat of his or her pants, write straight from mind to page, beginning to end, without looking back or forward.  They have the pure connection from imagination to page.  And then there is the writer who outlines every last detail of their story before writing.  They do not place a word on the page without a thoroughly conceived map of the journey; they make lists and character profiles that delve deeply into their character’s most trivial experiences.  These are the Stanislavski of writers.

There are of course practical pros and cons to each method, but in reality each method amounts to around the same amount of work.  The stream of consciousness writer has most of her work cut for her after the first draft with rewrite after rewrite after rewrite.  The outlining writer does all this work before hand, cutting down on the number of drafts until the final draft.

Truthfully, probably what daunts me the most about writing, is that writing is about making decisions; a lot of decisions.  As we move through life, we make a constant, continuous stream of decisions with every breath, most are unconscious decisions made out habit, by muscle memory or what we perceive through our senses.  The others are the conscience decisions made based on experience, knowledge or even intuition.  In writing, because the writer is the mind of the world and characters of the story, every decision involving the story and those characters has to be a conscience decision.  Our characters cannot walk or breath unless the writer chooses where they walk and how and what they breath.  Each choice leads to other choices, which in turn leads to other choices.  All the possible choices build exponentially until you almost can’t see the forest for the trees.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know how to make decisions and I am not afraid of making decisions.  I learned early in my career that it only takes one real quality to get ahead in the world.  People will follow anyone, no matter who you are, if you are willing to making the decisions.  Education and experience are important only in that they can, sometimes, help you make the right decision.   But in general, to become a leader in this world means learning to fearlessly make decisions no matter the outcome.  And true leaders stand by their decisions, good or bad, and then deal with the outcome or consequences by of course making more decisions.

So, coming to recognize that writing is a process of decision making, how do we explain the pantsers.  I believe that there are in reality two kinds of apparent pantsers.  There is that romantic stream of consciousness writer who views writing itself as a process of discovery.  In my opinion, these wonderful romantics want the same vicarious joy from writing that they get from reading.  And I don’t blame them at all.  There is a part of me that desires this as well.  Pantsers walk through the forest of decisions loving the trees and not caring, until the end, where the journey takes them.  But there is another kind of “apparent” pantser, who isn’t really a pantser at all.  These are writers who have such brilliant and well ordered minds that they don’t sit down at the typewriter or word processor until all the decisions are made and ordered accordingly.  There are little or no notes, no outlines to speak of and write only one actual draft.  For example I give you Rex Stout, creator and writer of the Nero Wolfe mysteries.   Yes, mysteries tend to be formulaic, so how much mental effort does it really take, but read his biography.  Nero Wolfe was a creative distraction for a brilliant man who was a political advocate and commentator.  Then there is also Ray Bradbury, who is reported to have several typewriters, each containing the efforts of a different work.  The magnitude of decisions it takes to write one novel is overwhelming, imagine trying to keep two or three works straight.  Finally, they say that the composer Mozart never wrote drafts, the perfected music would flow from his mind to the page.   I only mention Mozart because when I watch the movie Amadeus I always tend to sympathize with the character of Salieri.  He was the court composer, and nemesis to Mozart, who felt that God had granted him the just enough talent to create mediocrity, while giving him the level understanding and desire to be able to recognize the true brilliance in the other.

Salieri: “All I wanted was to sing to God. He gave me that longing… and then made me mute. Why? Tell me that. If He didn’t want me to praise him with music, why implant the desire? Like a lust in my body! And then deny me the talent?”

Salieri: “From now on we are enemies, you (God) and I. Because you choose for your instrument a boastful, lustful, smutty, infantile boy and give me for reward only the ability to recognize the incarnation.”

My Hero…now there is a depressing thought.

So, who am I?  Am I a pantser or do I need a well marked map of my journey?  Well, like Salieri, I have a drive to create.  “Like a lust in my body”!  And the older I get the more frustrated the lust becomes.  If I could draw a straight line, I would be an artist.  If I could carry a tune, I’d write a symphony or a rock anthem.  If I lived in LA I’d be in the movie industry.  If I lived in New York, I’d be working in the theater.  I truly think the most wonderful thing about being a human being is the ability to create something from out of the depths of your mind for the sheer enjoyment of others.  In the end, I have always loved the written word.  Of all the praise from teachers whilst growing up, most praised my reading, comprehension and writing.  I was named after a famous Elizabethan playwright and poet, who died rather infamously.  Some say he was stabbed over a bar bill, others thought he was a spy for the crown.  And I have memories of sitting in our tiny family library closet, trying to pound away on an old Royal, writing stories about my favorite teddy and Brownie the dog.  And for as long as I remember, I have lived within my imagination.  Ever read the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes?  I was Calvin.  Still am actually.  Confession number 1, there are times when I feel like I have an addiction.  That is when the worlds created in my head becomes full of people and versions of myself that are so much more emotionally fulfilling than real life that the desire to emotionally exist in the fantasy begins to actually control and change my behavior.  Walter Mitty wasn’t so much a comic character as a tragic one.

Confession number 2; I am impatient; constantly questioning myself and prone to wanting immediate gratification.  And I want to be a WRITER?!  Well yes, I do, without doubt.  Okay, I also like to have some idea on my destination and how to get there.  I am not opposed to some well planned spontaneity.  I can’t just jump into the air and see where the wind carries me.  I need focus, and a sense of direction.  That much I do know.  Yet nothing bores me more than taking notes and creating lists.  Of course that may just be laziness.  Yet I can’t help feeling that there is little or no sense of accomplishment in a list.  I begin these things and get bored and frustrated with the feeling that there is no movement, no life.  No matter how thorough a character profile is, the character is not alive until he or she is walking in the environment he or she was created to exist in.  And yet, how alive and unique can any character be in their story unless you know everything there is to know about them and that world they live in?  Where does that leave me?

I have tried pantsing, but it takes very little time before I am feeling aimless and lost.  I have tried outlining, but an outline is not a commitment.  I sit down to write an outline, I even have tried pantsing an outline if that is possible, but my impatience and need for movement and a sense of accomplishment frustrates me.  As soon as I get a certain amount of outline done, usually up to around the beginning of the second act, I feel the desire to just to begin writing.  I want to live the story.  A lovely and vicious cycle I have put myself into.   It occurs to me that maybe my eyes are too big for my stomach.  Maybe the term well planned spontaneity was less of a bad joke (but a good oxymoron actually) than a hint or clue.  Don’t worry about the forest; the forest will take care of itself if you take care of the trees.  How many more metaphors can I butcher in this blog?  A story, short or long, is made up of many connective scenes.  Maybe what I need to do is develop the discipline to narrow my focus from the story world view to the scene view.  Quit thinking and worrying about the whole, and concentrate on the individual units that make up the whole.  Outline and write one scene at a time, while keeping and maintaining character profiles progressively.  The profiles do not have to be complete until the first draft is done and rewriting begins.  Also, the scenes will each represent a unit of measure that I can use to feel a sense of movement and progress.

My method; I will begin with a synopsis; enough information to give me a sense of direction, yet simple enough to allow me the vicarious joy from writing that I get from reading.  From the synopsis I will chose a scene to start outlining, probably the final climatic scene of the story.  From the scene outline I will have characters to begin profiles on.  Then I will write the scene.  When the scene is written, I will begin the process again on the scene that leads to the scene I just wrote.  Instead of asking what happens next, I will be asking, what brought us to this?  You know what?  I am not even going to create the title page until I complete the first draft, ha!  Oi, did you feel that?  The world just shifted.

When my niece reads this I know she will accuse me of over thinking things and she will be right.  Over thinking things is the story of my life, obsessively over thinking things.  What I hope, what this blog is for, is to put my thoughts into writing and into the ether for anyone, of a mind to, to read so that there can be a sense of commitment.  Now I can stop thinking about how to write and start to write.

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