Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Things are hectic around the upcoming holiday weekend, so I'm not posting as often as I'd like. A friend of mine pointed out on Facebook that my last post was full of so much writer jargon that it made little sense to him. Once I realized that, I figured I could spend a few postings deciphering the jargon.

Freewriting was one term I used. Anyone who's seen the movie Finding Forrester has seen freerwriting. Sean Connery's character does it when teaching the main character how to get going on a project. The idea is that you put your fingers to the keyboard and just write whatever comes to you. Start it like a diary entry, or describe what you see on the wall opposite you, or make up a story to explain what the people outside your window are talking about. The idea is to just get going and keep the words flowing.

The result, when it works like it should, is a lot of fresh prose with ideas pulled off the back of your brain. This is an excellent way to discover new characters or themes or even plot ideas. It doesn't often work well for, say, writing an entire piece. Although some of my favorite stories have that fresh, flowing, freewritten feel. The Last Unicorn springs to mind, though I don't know if Peter S. Beagle actually freewrote it.

I realized when I started freewriting to come up with my next YA project that it's been far too long since I've done this exercise. I've planned and plotted and troubleshot everything I've done recently before I even started the first draft. I definitely need a change of pace.

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