A to Z Challenge 2013

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Blog Chain - Aimless Direction

Woohoo, another edition of the blog chain where I get to start things off.  As I've said many times, I'm a steadfast pantster.  I don't truly organize my writing, and I don't plot (except for maybe a vague idea of things in my head).   So from this background comes the question:

When was the last time you just sat down and started writing, with nothing but a whisper of an idea to guide you?  Did you find it easy to do or did you find yourself struggling for a more organized story?

It might appear that I do this all the time.  But in all honesty, even I ruminate over an idea for a while before applying my hands to the keyboard.  The last time I truly did this however, was during a short story class I took. The teacher would give us a writing prompt and we had 15 minutes or so to get something down on paper.  It was incredibly challenging and yet incredibly invigorating as well.  When we were asked to share our writing, it was really interesting to see what everyone came up with.

One of the things I like about this type of writing is that it allows me to get outside of editor mode.  Because I have no idea where I'm going, I can't judge whether I've written anything right or wrong.  Of course this means that we're talking about first draft quality writing, but sometimes the best phrasing comes when our mind is really not engaged.  We are concentrating on what we're doing of course, but hopefully we're cranking out words so quickly that we don't have time to second guess ourselves.

To illustrate what I mean, I'm going to randomly pick a word right now (and I guess you'll just have to trust me). I will then write a snippet based on that word.  For the record, I've used this to get my word.  The word it chose for me is Vestige.  So here goes:

Any vestige of humanity was gone, replaced by malice and loathing for the two legged creatures around him.  Alex watched them scurry about, hidden as he was within the shadowed confines of the alley.  Each person represented possibility, another chance for him to fulfill the need pulsing at his temples.  The pain of it sometimes made him wince, but his mouth would stretch in a grin regardless.  Pain was intoxicating, more so if he could inflict it on others.  But even his own pain had become a drug, which was the reason for the countless scars dancing across his hidden forearms.

He pushed the pounding blackness to a small recess in his mind, keeping it there as he concentrated on his potential prey.  The time for striking was almost at hand, he thought as Alex noticed the number of pedestrians become less and less.  Finally he heard the telltale signs of a woman's hurried steps, the cadence of her high heels echoing in the night.  The scream as he grabbed her was a vicious wine, and he reveled in the way her nails dug at his body ineffectually.  Yes, let them exchange pain for pain, he thought.  Hers would be more delicious than his own, but only a fool would ignore one over the other.  Then he choked her into unconsciousness, barely keeping from laughing aloud as her struggles lessened.  Time to play.  He turned away from the street and tossed her body into the back of the van.  The hunt might be over, but the fun had barely begun.

So there you have it, a very small snippet but still fun to write.  I have managed not to edit as I go, which probably shows up blatantly.  But this is one type of writing I love to do.  I love to just go for it and let the words drip out however they may, leaving splashes of color on the page wherever they fall.

Have you ever tried doing something like this?  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.  Since I'm the first one on the chain, check out how Michelle McLean answers this one.


Anonymous said...

Great question!

I like how liberating "free writing" is. I need to do more of it, LOL!

Love you excerpt!

celticqueen said...

great question! And love the snippet :D I'll save my answer for my post lol but loving it! Going to be fun to see everyone's answers :)

Christine Fonseca said...

Such a great question. I will say that I do journal everyday - and in fact, that is usually how I get to know whatever characters are within my current projects. I'll speak more about this in my response to the chain. Great job!

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Nice excerpt! I think I can combine this blog chain topic with the A-Z challenge.

Eric said...

LB - Awesome, glad you liked it. And thanks for the kind comments.

Celtic - Thanks. I'm looking forward to what you put up as well.

Christine - Thank you. I don't journal every day, but maybe I should LOL.

Sandra - Awesome. I can't wait to see what you put up.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've never done it, but that's how I felt when trying to come up with a sequel to my book!

Linda - Nickers and Ink said...

This sounds like the beginning of a scary, suspenseful story! Keep at it!

Linda Ann

I stopped by via the A to Z Challenge for April, and I invite you to visit my blogs at The Mane Point (Horses), Nickers and Ink (Poetry), Practically at Home (Home and Helpful How-to’s) and the Meme Express (Daily Blog Prompts).

Eric said...

Alex - Eh, I'm sure you were a lot less aimless in your writing than you felt. And I'm really looking forward to what you put out.

Linda - Thank you. I will definitely stop by your blogs. Thanks for visiting mine :)

Cole Gibsen said...

Awesome excerpt! I wish I did more of that kind of writing. Sometimes I think I over think things to death. *sigh*

Michelle H. said...

That was a great excerpt. I thrill to just come up with something off the top of my head like that, without knowing where the words will take me.