Fiction is a painful process for someone like me. I love character-driven pieces so I have to make characters that I absolutely adore… otherwise nothing works. I’m too much of a perfectionist when it comes to fiction. Everything looks sloppy, or a character is just not good enough, or there could be something more included, or maybe there’s too much included. It’s a very tiring situation. I often end up getting frustrated and spending the rest of my time scrolling around aimlessly on Facebook. Many other writers and authors tell me to write without stopping. Don’t edit, don’t make any corrections, just get the story out. It’s almost like forcing an old scar to bleed again. It’s very frustrating, often times painful, and usually I can do nothing but give up and say, “Maybe it will work out tomorrow.”
So, the process begins again. I had an idea, a completely new idea for a story, and I have to type out my ideas otherwise all I’ll do is dwell on them until more ideas appear. My brain is a constant creator, it seems. A double-edged sword for now. But back to my point…
I started writing out this new idea. I started a new story and completed a few paragraphs without stressing over the details. I was doing pretty damn well! And then… a new character appeared. He’s quirky, short, a tad bit annoying, but yet oddly endearing. He’s also a “servant” to my main character. And he doesn’t have a name. Names are important to me. Names have meanings, they help introduce a personality, and they’re permanent. So when I encounter a nameless creature, I have to find a suitable name to call it. So once again, I’m distracted from writing because I need a name, and I need one now.
I start scrolling through lists of baby names.
So now, there’s a story that needs to be written, a character that needs to be named, and now I have a text message from a friend and I can’t just ignore him. Right? So, now I’ve told my friend that I’m looking up baby names and he automatically assumes the most unlikely thing: I’m pregnant. Because why else would I search for baby names so diligently? So NOW, my story remains incomplete, my character nameless, I’m completely distracted, my friend keeps continuing this farfetched story of my fake pregnancy (he’s being a jerk), and I still don’t have a name for this character.
Well… maybe it will work out tomorrow. 😉