Sometimes, I reach a place in my writing process and forget the magic behind why I started. I think we all do at various stages of completion. When I hit my Ugh! wall, I can almost always turn to Barry Lane or Stephen King for help and renewed inspiration. Today, I need a little Stephen King fix. The following passage comes from On Writing:
Words have weight... Words create sentences; sentences create paragraphs; sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe. Imagine, if you like, Frankenstein's monster on its slab. Here comes lightning, not from the sky but from a humble paragraph of English words. Maybe it's the first really good paragraph you ever wrote, something so fragile and yet full of possibility that you are frightened. You feel as Victor Frankenstein must have when the dead conglomeration of sewn-together spare parts suddenly opened its watery yellow eyes. Oh my God, it's breathing, you realize. Maybe it's even thinking. What in hell's name do I do next?
According to the brilliant Mr. King, we keep going. Duh! He says we are builders, building one paragraph at a time, and that we can build whole mansions if we like. I want to build a gorgeous mansion. Building requires skill, though, and skills require practice - lots and lots of practice.
At its most basic we are only discussing a learned skill, but do we not agree that sometimes the most basic skills can create things far beyond our expectations? We are talking about tools and carpentry, about words and style...but as we move along, you'd do well to remember that we are also talking about magic.
* sigh* Magic. We can make magic.
Do your paragraphs ever feel like Frankensteins?