Saturday, July 10, 2010

I'm A Storyteller

By Keith N Fisher

As a writer, I go through dry periods for one reason or other. Everyone does—it’s the nature of the craft. Sometimes there’s a block and we just can’t think of anything to write. It feels like torture to put two words together. The metaphor of opening a vein and writing with blood comes to mind.

Time crunches, because of the challenges of life, are another reason for the dry periods. Unfriendly schedules, and sheer exhaustion, force our attention away from writing. Regret over unfinished projects can tug at a writer’s heartstrings, and he asks, “When will I ever get time to write?

I’ve been experiencing the latter. With several projects on the back burner, I’ve been trying to write the sequel to a book I need to submit. Would you like to be a proofreader? Through it all, I have my blog commitments. Deadlines come whether I’m too busy, or not.

With all the turns my life has taken lately, and an uncooperative laptop, my writing has been waiting like an unrequited lover. The wellspring of inviting water goes unused. While struggling to find time, the nagging question has been what to do with the sequel. I knew how to solve the problems, but if only I had the time.

In order to bring something to critique group, I started writing the sequel out of sequence. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem but this time, I’d written the basic scenes with nothing to connect them. I needed to sort it out for continuity, and the chapters needed to be moved around.

Then, as if by magic, I found a way to make my laptop fall into line. And the Independence Day Holiday came up. The weeds in my garden have grown monumentally high, but I used the day to sit on my porch and write. It felt wonderful.

After a couple of hours, things began to fall into place. I wrote the connecting scenes and remembered where I was going. I rediscovered the joy of writing. I found myself lost in the world of my creation, listening to my characters and learning to love them more.

On Sunday, after church I went back out there. My characters suggested ways to make the story more interesting and I found more compelling reasons for readers to like the book. By the next day I was a writer again.

Over the years I’ve learned many things about the writing craft. Through the ladies in my critique group I’ve learned there is much more to learn. All of these lessons help me tell a story, and that, is the most important lesson of all. I love telling stories. Ideas for books float around my head demanding to be written. Unfortunately, I can’t write them all. There are more stories than I have years left to write them.

When I think of the possibilities of touching hearts with my stories, I endeavor to try. When I shed tears over a touching ending, I know I’m part of the way there. You see if the story can touch my heart, then maybe I can change and be better.

After the holiday, I’m a writer again. When I think about all my writing errors, I’d rather be known as a storyteller, at least for now.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

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