If…then…

First a NaNoWriMo update: I did not make it to 50,000 words.  So I failed, and I totally give a fuck.  No wait I don’t.  Because of the reasons why I failed.  Here are my reasons:

– The concept for the book was shaky at best, hastily thought up by someone desperate to prove their worth as a writer by entering in this contest (That someone would be me)

– I got sick halfway through the month and proceeded to hate life so much that the idea of writing made me vomit, as did the idea of food, and the idea of getting out of bed, and the idea of vomiting.

– About a week ago, I came up with a book concept that I actually liked and within two or three days I had 20,000 + words.  And what was better: I was writing this book for me, not a contest, and it’s an idea that I support.

So maybe next year, NaNoWriMo!  Now on to the real blog post.

I recently discovered this mantra that I think I can live by.  If I could get tattoos on the insides of my eyelids…I still wouldn’t get it tattooed there because OW that would not be fun.  But I do still love my mantra.  It’s fairly simple, and it goes like this: If…then…

That’s it.  But I do believe that I have touched on the whole idea behind writing, and creative work in general.  Don’t forget the ellipses either, because those are important.  They represent the infinite number of possibilities that could fill in those spaces between “If” and “then”, and after “then.”  For example:  If I were to stop writing right now, then I would never get this blog post finished and would fail to share my bountiful wisdom with you, my readers.  Who I’m still convinced exist.

If…then… is how creating works, as I mentioned above.  Say you have a character and something of a plot.  How do you decide what to do next?  That’s where the “If…then…” approach comes in.  If my character defies the laws of gravity, then what would stop him/her from flying up into space and dying a horrible death?  If I give my character the power of flight, then he/she will be able to defy gravity and stop him/herself from dying a horrible death.

Recently, in this book I’m writing, I tried an approach to a character that I didn’t like.  (I didn’t like the approach, not the character.  I like the character just fine)  I needed her to be away from the main village for an extended period of time, but I ended up not feeling right about her reasons for being away.  And here’s a little side tip that you should definitely pay attention to: If you’re ever reading your own writing, and something about it doesn’t feel right, then trust your instincts.  You know the worlds you create better than anyone else.  If your gut is telling you that you approached something wrong, listen to it.  That’s what I did, and I used If…then… to figure out another way to keep this character out of the picture.  If she’s not away trying to become a knight, then what are some other things she could be doing that aren’t lame?  And I came up with a lot more ifs.  If she’s royalty, then this shit just got cliche.  If she’s been kidnapped, then that makes absolutely no sense FAIL.  If she’s helping to care for a sick horse because it just so happens that she can talk to horses, then…then she’d totally have a reason to be away for a few days!  And she’d have the ability to talk to horses, which is way cool.  Voila!  See?  It works.  What’s great is, even if you don’t use the exact “If…then…” wording, that’s still essentially what you’re doing.  If…then… is at the root of all brainstorming.  It’s awesome! You’re welcome!

Word of the Day: Efficacious (adj) – capable of having the desired result or effect; effective as a means, measure, remedy, etc.

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