26 September 2008

It's Complicated...or is it?

Out of the mouths of babes…not quite literally, but close enough.

I’ve had the wonderful experience this week of helping out in my child’s second grade class. Why? Because they’re talking about the passion of my heart: WRITING. Yep, that’s right folks…writing as introduced to seven year-olds. Are you scared? Trust me, if you are, you are wise.

Going back to the roots of it has been fun. I’ve gotten to play with all the cool toys in the classroom and the kiddies, too. I hope they’re getting half as much out of it as I am because I had an epiphany. That’s right, folks…an honest to goodness Epiphany with a capital E.

It’s not that complicated…no, not the actual writing part, but the figuring out the HOW TO part. The tools are all there. But good ol’ me, published writer, had forgotten all about them. Do you remember the first time you looked at a story web or character map and said…”What do you want me to put where, again?”

It’s funny because I’ve drawn out this huge process on putting it all together. Bullet plot outlines, detailed character biographical and history forms, index cards and notes galore. But does it have to be all that complicated?

KISS made me blush – Keep It Simple Stupid.

Yep, you guessed it. Those bullet outlines and forms would make so much more sense if I’d not dropped the simplest step of all as being redundant. Story Webs – in a nutshell, how do all the elements fit together.

It’s kind of like life. If you make it complicated and ignore the simple pleasures, you get ulcers.

After watching the lights go on about Narrative Stories and seeing imaginations take flight, I’ve revamped my process. Granted, my story web for my projected 100K next project is a little more complicated than the ones the class is doing, but it’s like everything else – you get older, your projects get bigger…and usually more expensive. And yes, I felt a little silly doing it; however, it has helped me pick up the threads of the story that I was looking to weave in and put them into place.

Go figure…it’s never too late to go back to elementary school and learn something. Maybe I should try middle school or high school? Wait… Awkward stages… SKIP!

So, have you examined your process lately or had an epiphany of your own?
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