Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Method: How I Write

For some reason, I can only seem to sit down and write two pages at a time. And that's not even two single-spaced pages, or even two typed pages. My imagination, my out-of-shape hand, and my attention span only allow me to get two handwritten pages out each time I write. 

I suppose it's like running or any other exercise, and I just need to "train" myself for longer writing workouts. 

Part of it, I'm sure, is the way I write. I use what my college fiction prof, Heather Sellers, dubbed "The Method," which is essentially a very regimented, concentrated way to get a scene (not a plot) down on paper. 

You start by putting yourself into the scene, into one of the characters (there should be at least two, and if there aren't then something like the weather or a pet should act as if they are a character). Think about, even write down, what is above you, below you, on each side of you. When you are well-acquainted with your scene, then you're ready for The Method.

Basically, The Method consists of 4 basic writing prompts, which you repeat over and over until your time is up, or until your scene is finished. These prompts are:

I am... 
You are...
We are here because...
The worst thing is...

Sometimes, after several rounds of this in one scene, the second two prompts tend to drop out, leaving just the "I am," "You are" action (which, can also be dialogue). 

And that is The Method, my method. 

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On a different note, I may be headed to California for a little mid-January vacation here soon... it kind of just came up, and I really hope it works out. 

L. Stacks

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