Recently I was reading a post by fellow blogger @jeffekennedy which got me to thinking. (I love when I get inspired by my blogger friends.) Her posting was called Pursuing the Vision.
In her posting she made a comment about trying to get her photographs to show color the way she saw it with her naked eye and how the camera, or the software she was using was not always as reliable. She wrote, "I can't seem to capture an image of what my eyes see." Hmm? That got me to thinking.
I find in writing I sometimes have the very same problem. I will see the scene exactly how I want it to play out in my minds eye but for whatever reason I have a harder time translating that via the written word. The more time I spend trying to find the perfection in the written word, the more elusive it seems to be. I can spend hours searching for the exact structure, or prose to move a reader the way I was moved when these scenes, or characters were born to me in my imagination. I am obsessed with getting it exactly right.
Sometimes this can be disenchanting as I find myself questioning whether or not I have the talent to make the story sing across the paper. When this happens I don't worry what others would think of my writing because in that moment I know no one will ever read it. Other times I find the words flow better, yes, even better than when it was first playing out in my head. These are the times I see my image plastered across a billboard in Times Square heralding my newest work of fiction as simply brilliant! I told you I have an excellent imagination.
So what exactly does that mean? When it is harder, is this my subconscious way of telling me I don't know the characters or the plot the way I need to in order to get across what exactly it is I am trying to get across? Does it mean I did not spend enough time in the pre-planning stages? Does it mean I need to make another list? This could go on forever and get just as ridiculous.
Does it mean gas is about go up again. Will Booth and Brennan every become a couple on Bones? See, I could go on and on. I threw that in there to see if you were paying attention. I am devious that way.
When it is going good I don't stop to question these things because...well, its going good.
But what her posting made me realize was this. All I had to look at was the photo she had taken and I thought the flowers were stunning. I liked the photo, while she clearly thought it was less than stellar.
Yes there really is a lesson to be learned here. A reader does not have any preconceived notions when they sit down to read and if you are consistently good, maybe they will take something away from the story that you never expected. And at the end of the day I realized I could live with that.