#writingcraft: Was It Too Simple?

As the post of the first week of the month, I’m ascribing the Twitter hashtag, #writingcraft from here on out.


Was It Too Simple?
image by Gordon Wrigley

Two months I wrote about the possibility of getting worse at the craft of writing. I thought my solution was to take a basic grammar class. I do believe I deluded myself. The course started out with the elementary aspects. I thought it would rush along to topics of a naive writer, like what words are more appropriate than others in certain content. Contradictory to my assumption, it stayed focused on the fundamentals. It wasn’t at all what I was looking for. Maybe I just need to open my style book more often.

After discovering the frivolousness of that course, I took another look at some of the unfinished stories I had tucked away in my cloud. My presumption about these works was I was overwhelmed about how to proceed with each of these stories. I thought I had so many ways to go I had gotten totally perturbed and rattled.

Now, my hunch is swaying me completely the other way and even onto a different path. Maybe what I was experiencing wasn’t overpowering dumbfoundedness from complexity. Maybe it was aversion for the stories themselves to the point where my reluctance to go on with them was what was overwhelming. Concededly, there were a few twists in these stories, however, they didn’t take the main character off the beaten track. It was more of a case of move that branch or throw that rock out of the way. Boring stuff.

Sometimes understanding why I have an emotion is more baffling than the emotion itself. I’ve come to know the feeling of being overwhelmed quite well. My thoughts become muddled. I start having problems deciding about unrelated issues as well as the ones pertaining to the matter at hand. I know I must just stop what I’m doing and try to make my mind a blank. I must step away from whatever it is that is causing the feeling of spoil to surge through my veins.

I can’t even peek at those stories anymore, at least for a long while. I went back to reading my classics, Jane Austin and Charles Dickens. I was hoping to get inspiration from these two authors. Believe it or not, it is helping.

A few of weeks ago, February ninth, I posted an article about changing what or where I write. It was after writing that post I went to Amazon to find some more classics to read. So many of they are completely free there if I get the eBook version. There isn’t any shipping or handling fee either.

Reading about history in a fictitious form has me brainstorming about an idea for a story where the setting is in the past someplace. The concepts I’m coming up with are arduous and elaborate for the characters. Well, so far they seem to be, anyway. They’re more mixed than anything I’ve written before.

Who would have envisioned me going for something more entangled, more involved? Certainly not me. Yet, it just seems to be the appropriate path to take right now.

Have you ever gone for the path covered with debris, sharp turns, and detours?

“Good writing is good writing. In many ways, it’s the audience and their expectations that define a genre. A reader of literary fiction expects the writing to illuminate the human condition, some aspect of our world and our role in it. A reader of genre fiction likes that, too, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of the story.” ― Rosemary Clement-Moore


14 thoughts on “#writingcraft: Was It Too Simple?

  1. My daughter jokes that her and I are both good at making simple projects more complicated. Of course, she blames me for the fact that she shares this affliction. Still, I think the things we add (mostly to wood working projects) make the end result more interesting and give it more of “how did they do that?” feel. I think the same thing hold about writing, particularly fiction. I like complicated fiction. Not so much that it’s hard to follow, but a few twists and turns.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In everyday life, I like to keep things as simple as possible. If there is a problem, get it fixed now, if not yesterday, and get on with life. So be it, it can make life dull too. I have been trying to simplify my writing, thinking it will make it better, and I will not have to worry about getting overwhelmed with it. This approach is not helping my stories, though. I have writing buddies. I should reach out to them when I feel the tug of bewilderment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a novel in progress and at one point I got stuck. For reasons I can’t explain, the phrase, “fracture the crystal” came in to my head. I then stopped my normal straight forward story telling and shifted to a more fractured and many threaded weave instead. Been able able to move ahead with more creativity since then.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know if I could work from middle to back to front. It sounds confusing. I know some authors work that way and have great success. Even though I am skeptical, I know I will keep this idea in mind. Thank you, Andrew. 🙂


      1. In my case, I’ve written the first and last chapters and am now writing a few action scenes in between along with a couple of related short stories. It’s not for everyone or every project, but it got me unstuck for the moment.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The manuscript I have finished the first draft on may benefit from this, Jacqui. The story, itself is okay but nothing to write home about. However, how the situation affects the main character could be much more just by me getting in the mood to brainstorm about it.

      Thank you. 🙂


  3. As Rosemary Clement-Moore said: illuminate the human condition. To me this is key. No matter the genre or time period, all good literature tells me something about how to be human in the world. Love, honor, quests, changes, crises, relationships, violence, serenity, history, action, reflection, danger: everything in a story must show me the extraordinary range of human behavior, possibility, and spirituality. I don’t mean religion, but how one feels about one’s place in the universe. Maybe this will help you direct your writing?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This could probably be why I have decided to change to historical. I do feel I was born late. I gravitate to the norms of an earlier time in history. Not so much the physical ones but the emotional ones.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Other site? This is the only one I post on anymore. Consider subscribing to my newsletter [look at the top in the sidebar]. I hear the snow is still good for skiing right now. Are you getting to any the ski resorts?

      Read your current post. Shared it. I had to it was too funny to leave there.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. You can also get hurt just walking across the street.

          I’m heavily into writing now. It has been that way for several years now so I do not think it is going away anytime soon. This blog is mostly about writing, although I do write my posts from a personal point of view and occasionally have posts unrelated to writing.

          Liked by 1 person

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