Friday, October 4, 2013

Internalizing

One of my critique buddies said something the other day that's been bouncing around in my brain ever since.

I'd said something about how much there is to learn, and how slow I feel at learning some of it.

Her response was...

There's knowing something intellectually, and then there's knowing it in your bones as a storyteller, and I continue to be blown away by how long it takes me to actually "get" this stuff.

Yes!

Now, she's way ahead of me on the learning curve of getting this stuff, so it was really encouraging to hear her say this. There are days I wonder how dense my brain really is and what those neurons are doing in there instead of firing the way I wish they would!

How about you? Does it take you a while to internalize the 'rules' of good writing or are you one of those lucky writers who has it come to you naturally?

27 comments:

  1. As in, you know the rule but it's a while before you instinctively know how to apply it? I'd say it takes a while!

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  2. Huh, I don't know! I think I may be one of the 'lucky' ones (though I'm not sure whether it's luck or merely a higher absorption rate), though I know in plenty of other areas in life, things take a while.

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  3. I think I'm one of those people who instinctively knows what goes into a good story. I've never taken a writing class, and I don't use "methods" and "acts" and other graphic organizers to design a plot.

    That's not to say that the internal story that comes out on the page doesn't need refining. It does! My first drafts are horrible! But the basic story is there.

    And of course, my internal story-teller doesn't know what stories are currently marketable, but that's another whole ball game.

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  4. Alex - it does for me too!

    Jeff - good for you! I'm finding so many of the little aspects tough to apply!

    Dianne - it sure is! I think I'm like that to a point, but making it marketable is tough!!!

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  5. Oh yeah, definitely takes time for things to sink into this 64-year-old brain. And even if it sinks in, that doesn't translate into better writing for me.

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  6. It's like riding a bike. It takes some practice for it to become instinct.

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  7. I have to look up general things like punctuation sometimes! :) But I just write and glad I have critiquers to help me through!

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  8. That is so true. I think for me, a rule sinks in once I've spent some time consciously following it. When that happens, it just becomes a habit.

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  9. Karen - so glad to hear it! I sometimes drives myself nuts! :) Love the new avatar!

    Diane - and I can ride a bike, so surely I can do this!

    Kelly - me too! Couldn't do any of this without my CPs!!

    Beth - that's what I'm working on ... again, with a new lesson! Hoping it becomes more instinctual soon!

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  10. Very little comes 'naturally' to me! I've always had to work hard - bloody hard, more often than not.

    Glad I'm not alone, Jemi :)

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  11. Some may come naturally but everyone has much to learn. The best way to get it in your head is to keep writing! :D

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  12. Wendy - me too! At least us worker bees have company!! :)

    Lisa - then I'm going in the right direction! :)

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  13. I think we all have the "natural" talent, but our creativity gets in the way of logic at times. Rules are not for us creative types, so it does take a while to "sink" in to our stubborn brains...

    We are left side of the brain people. The right side needs to be more involved...

    Have a great weekend Jemi....

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  14. My problem isn't knowing the rules, it's sticking to them! Ha! I have a tendency to do things I shouldn't "just because".

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  15. I would say I am 50-50. Some things I pick up and understand right away, or I know them instinctively. Other things I need to process over and over again to "get". :) There are certain grammar rules I have to look up or refer to ALL the time! I can't seem to retain them- yet. :)

    Good luck!
    Jess

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  16. Thanks Michael - I think my left brain is definitely causing me troubles lately - gotta get it in control :)

    Jess - LOL - that sounds kinda familiar too :)

    Jess - I know the feeling - although my issues tend to be in creating and amping up conflict!

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  17. I didn't realize things were clicking until years ago and things continue clicking with me. I love the progression in my writing.

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  18. Medeia - me too! Conflict is currently the bane of my existence, but it's getting better :)

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  19. Hi Jemi,

    Of course, we do realise there are no rules as such.

    I don't relate to how somebody can be further ahead or behind me in any of this writing stuff.

    All I know is that my writing style never writes to an audience. An intimate style. I think that storytelling is more powerful because I become the character or object in anything I write.

    I'm lucky. No pressure, no expectations. Just have a bit of therapy via writing.

    Take care, eh. Sorry, couldn't resist, eh.

    Gary :)

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  20. Hi Jemi,

    Its all a learning process and pretty much ongoing.

    All the best!

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  21. Gary - I mostly write for myself too - but it would be nice to get some of these stories out into the world one day! :)

    Nas - thanks! Sometimes it feels like the more I learn, the longer I realize the learning curve is! :)

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  22. I think of it as writing by ear. When you can listen to what you wrote and know if it works or it doesn't, and sometimes even why.

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  23. Linda - that's a great way to describe it! I'm going to borrow that! :)

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  24. I think it comes in the revisions. I can't imagine just busting something brilliant out.

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  25. MP - but wouldn't that be great! I love the drafting stage!! :)

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  26. I do believe my editor would say I'm dense. :D

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  27. Pat - I highly doubt it but your comment made me actually laugh out loud! :) Love it!

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