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I got Mojo

February 13, 2011

Last weekend, the writers of the Nambucca Valley Writers Group were fortunate to attend a writing workshop with Linda Jaivin.  We put in a request to Northern Rivers Writers Centre a year ago, and the workshop was well worth the wait.

The workshop was informative, entertaining and most of all, it got me writing again.  Linda said at the beginning of the workshop that we would develop a new imaginary friend to take home with us.  Well…somehow I ended up with an imaginary friend named Jake. A 32 year old commitment phobic advertising executive who’s neatly avoided relationships all his adult life and has just found out that he’s impregnated one of his latest one-night stands.  Yep, fun guy. Exercises included filling in a ‘CV’ for the character, writing a love letter from the character to someone, writing a description of the character from someone else’s POV (and of course that was from the woman who was now carrying his baby), and then writing a dialogue between the two characters (and you can imagine how fiery that dialogue was).

I came home from the workshop full of ideas and ready to try new practices.

I learned that it’s okay to write stuff that informs your story but may not end up in the story. (huge freedom!)

I learned that it’s okay to scrap the words and start again.

I learned new methods of editing and organisation. (focus on one element at a time when you’re going through the ms). And these new methods may get me out of the mess of too many drafts on my hard drive.

For me, the writing workshop came at exactly the right time. Following straight on from Margie Lawson‘s course Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviours,  I was ready to be inspired creatively.  I was ready to sharpen my saw.  Strangely enough, my last blogpost was about ‘finding my toolbox’ and in the workshop, Linda referred to tools to add to the toolbox.

So I’ve been spending a bit of time in the story world of Beyond Happily Ever After: pondering, brainstorming, mind-mapping.  I’ve made a major decision about Snow White’s motivation and character arc, which will mean rewriting chapter two and many other chapters along the way. Oh – but it will make Snow White’s character much more complex and interesting. I’m excited again.

I’ve written a couple of streams of consciousness from both Cindy and Snow White, which gives me more clues and information I need to slip in at another point.

I’ve started a chapter breakdown in table format which lists every chapter, setting and then five character’s involvement (Cinderella, Edward, Henry, Snow White, the Queen) in each scene, so I can trace their character arc throughout.

I’ve found the pleasure of just writing again. Not trying to worry about how everything fits initially, not worrying at this point about the final product.  Just the pleasure of inhabiting someone else’s head and life for a little while.   (And I realise I don’t have an avatar as above for Snow White, or Prince Edward. I may have to rectify now that both of them have taken a much larger part in the storyline.  Then the Queen and Jared will want their own avatars too.  Will it ever end?)

Back to it…

…can’t waste this mojo…

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