Thursday, 24 April 2008

Planning Before I Write

One of the hardest things for me to do when I write is to slow down a little. I go through phases that are pretty much manic, with the urge to do everything, all at once, right now! Reading The Anatomy of Story has helped me to see that it might not be a good thing. Before, I thought, 'I've got a good enough plan, I'll run with it from here' and it worked, more or less. Now though, I can see the ways that has sometimes left my writing seeming fragmented and forced.

As an experiment, I've decided to try working through a short story in the way recommended in the book, which seems to come down to building things organically from a few simple ideas. Although the idea of planning a short story in that sort of detail seems less fun than getting on with the writing, it should hopefully give me an idea of how well this approach works before I try it on anything longer.

I've also been trying to write some villanelles. Think of Dylan Thomas' The Dying of the Light. The form is quite complicated (but then, I never seem to choose simple poetic forms, do I) and I keep making the mistake of having the first and second repeating lines take different rhymes. It works like that, but apparently it's supposed to go more like this:

A1 (first repeating line with a rhyme)
b (Line with b rhyme)
A2 (Second repeating line with a rhyme)

a
b
A1

a
b
A2

a
b
A1

a
b
A2

a
b
A1
A2

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