Friday, September 16, 2011

Writing the Dark Half

Stephen King's fictional character Thad Beaumont in The Dark Half has a great description of what happens to a writer. So anytime you think you have writer's block (i.e., laziness), just remember all you have to do is start the mechanical act of writing and soon you will be lost in the fictional world. Of course, that entire book is an allegory not just of King's writing half, but the addictions he overcame:

"But he learned that, if he kept at it, if he simply kept pushing the words along the page, something else kicked in, something which was both wonderful and terrifying. The words as individual units began to disappear. Characters who were stilted and lifeless began to limber up, as if they had to loosen their muscles before they could begin their complicated dances. Something began to happen in his brain; he could almost feel the shape of the electrical waves there changing, losing their prissy goose-step discipline, turning into the soft, sloppy delta waves of dreaming sleep."

Another analogy I often call to mind is Hemingway's Santiago in The Old Man and the Sea, where the old man starts out rowing in the early dawn all stiff and miserable but knows he will soon row himself warm. Sometimes it really is as simple as dipping the next oar or planting the next word. Over and over.

Don't forget gift card and giveaways here for Be Nicholson's Agent:

Sat, Sept. 10: Insatiable Readers ...Nicholson's Ghost Stories
Sunday, Sept. 11: Fang-tastic Books ...Ethereal Messenger
Tuesday, Sept. 13: Motherlode ...These Things Happened
Tuesday, Sept. 13:  My Reading Room ...The Skull Ring
Thursday, Sept. 15: Bookhounds 
Thursday, Sept. 15: Rex Robot Reviews ...October Girls
Monday, Sept. 16: Castle Macabre...American Horror

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