Two years into this writing effort and I’m just now starting to shift from tactics to strategy.
I started writing Blue Across the Sea in the summer of 2016. I literally pumped it out in 90 days. I had no idea what I was doing aside from telling a story I’d had in my head for some time. Then came the realization that story is nothing without proper delivery. Imagine a stuttering bard. Alright, I said, if this writing pastime is important to me — I’d better learn how to do it well.
I’ve kept at it. And as I sit down these days to write, I find I’ve now shifted from focusing on the technical aspect of putting words to paper to strategizing the story. I’ve learned to trust, perhaps falsely, in my semi-developed skills at avoiding passive voice. At creating rhythm in sentence structure. At controlling dialog, the tags, the punctuation, the brevity. These and many other nitty-gritty functional aspects of writing, skills I should have learned much earlier, have been subsumed by my writer’s conscious (or so I tell myself).
My “sit down and get to it” tasks now feel as if they’ve taken on an elevated approach. The scene is ending, how to slip in a bit of suspense? This character feels thin, what nuance or foible can I add to make them feel more real? I’ve pounded this character to a pulp, they need a bit of a reprieve so that the reader can breathe easy for a time.
The scope of my writing has expanded. I’ve leveled up — finally.
Have you noticed stages in your writing ability? What stage are you at now?