Saturday, 13 November 2010

Writing is Not Like Porridge

I know that there exist some people who actually like porridge but I am not one of them. I think it's horrid - taste, texture, colour, smell. Nope, I don't like porridge.

I've tried it, because I know it's very good for you, but eat a bowlful - no way! I'm a grown up, and don't have to eat things that I don't like just because they're good for me.

It's worth remembering this when you're writing. You may think you ought to be writing Scene A, because it's the one that comes next so you struggle on, each line feeling as stodgy as, well, porridge. Meanwhile, Scene B is tantalising you with appetising aromas and enticing visuals, but you won't allow yourself to be tempted by Scene B until you've finished Scene A.

Um...why?

Writing's not like porridge, and we're not children being told to eat our greens because 'they're good for us'. We should write the scenes we feel like writing. We don't get extra points for writing our scenes in a particular order, it's the final product that matters. So if you fancy writing Scene B, then go ahead and do it. The only person stopping you is yourself.

3 comments:

womagwriter said...

Mix it with yogurt, then it's yummy!

Good point though, and skipping on to that more exciting scene keeps the momentum going. Forcing yourself to write the difficult or tedious scene A could put you in danger of stalling altogether.

Julia Crouch said...

Ah, but then you (possibly) have to go back and eat the porridge, or, possibly worse, scape the now-cold, congealed mess into the bin and wash the crusty bowl. The other problem is that sometimes, writing is like a double chocolate dime-bar cheesecake. At the moment I am trying to end draft one of novel #2, and I am enjoying it so much, I keep adding more cream, sneaking a few more dime bars and, yes, going back for seconds. It's getting a bit fat, though, but there's the second draft diet to deal with that.
Phew. Extended – but entirely coherent – metaphor finished!

Sarah Duncan said...

Hmm, I don't think any amount of yogurt or cream would make me like porridge suggestions though I love the cheesecake analogy. And the cheesecake sounds pretty good too!