Saturday, June 23, 2012

Margaret Chatwin here LIVE!

GUEST POST by Margaret Chat win

Control Freak, or just a Freak?
Don’t you just hate it when your in line at the supermarket, and after what seems like days of waiting, you finally have a visual on the conveyor belt – but then, the person in front of you strikes up a conversation with the cashier? The sanity saving beep, beep, beep, of the bar code scanner has stopped altogether because she’s now ceased doing her job to talk. She’s just standing there holding a jar of Mayo and laughing about something that, even with your imagination stretched to the brink, you don’t find the least bit funny.

Okay, maybe it’s the blazing temperature of the store that has you feeling so pent up and edgy. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s the relentlessly screaming child in the cart directly behind yours. Yes, of course it’s directly behind yours.

And as you stand there, roasting in the bowels of that place down under, (not Australia) you can only think two thoughts. One; I wish I’d remembered to pick up some Calgon from aisle fifteen so it couldtake me away. And two; I wish this was a scene in the book I’m writing, because I’d delete it and start over.

Ahh, the beauty of being a writer. It let’s you enter a world where you have The Control Factor. Where you are IT! The top dog. The big kahuna. A place where every word that falls from someone’s mouth is because you put it there. Every sharp inhale of air, every gaze that rises to meet another, and every flicker of a smile is all because of you. Heck, even the weather obeys your every command.
Well, it’s no wonder writers spend so much time tapping away at the key board. Each stride enhancing the undescribable connection they have with the place and the character they’ve created then molded into precisely what they want.

But writing isn’t always a walk in the park. Good writing can be quite a challenge, in fact. It’s very multi-dimensional, and force the writer to become – well – a little schizophrenic. What I mean by that is this, first and foremost the writer has to be a writer. He/she has to turn letters into words. Words into sentences and sentences into flowing, comprehendible paragraphs.

At the same time, the writer must become the character. Must totally disconnect from themselves in order to feel and think as if they were that person. Throw in another character, do that same block out maneuver, and on top of that, make him/her distinct enough in word and action that when bouncing between the two characters there’s a notable difference.

Want a really good time? Toss a third or fourth character into the scene.
And lastly, but also simultaneously, the writer must become the reader. They must forget all the millions of details that didn’t get written into the story, take a step back and see if it makes sense without them.
For me, that is the hardest part and I sometimes have to walk away from a story long enough that I actually can forget. Then, when I have a clear head and a fresh mind I can more fully become the reader.

I for one, have loved being a writer. For all it’s joys, friendships, sorrows and challenges, I have loved it. It has kept my mind and emotions keen, and it has been very therapeutic. Which is good, because writing will drive you crazy! :)

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