Friday, May 15, 2009

Creation, Destruction, And Re-Creation.

~Sia McKye~

Ominous clouds boil up on the horizon and the winds begin to blow. In no time at all, the storm is all around you. Jagged forks of lightning flash against the charcoal skies, and thunder vibrates through your bones and shakes the house.
Storms can be an assault to the senses and even tricking them. You watch in morbid fascination as trees bow in the wind and buffet your house. Above the sound of the thunder you hear a loud crack and you watch in incomprehension as the massive top of a tree breaks off and blows by your window, like a mere tree branch. Your eyes can’t believe it or the shock of watching trees come down like matchsticks. Falling trees close by feel like an earthquake—especially when more than one falls in succession. The blankness of your mind quickly dissipates and you’re running for cover.

Watching the raw fury of nature is, by turns, exhilarating, and awe inspiring, and humbling. It’s also terrifying. It’s the essence of creation. Creation starts with elemental and raw materials and builds something. Sometimes that first involves destruction of the existing, forever changing the visible material and recreating it. Creation, annihilation, and re-creation.

That’s true whether you are doing something as simple as breaking eggs to make a cake. Melting sand to make glass, or dynamiting a granite wall to make a tunnel. When writing or taking a situation, personality trait, building a story, or using words to change the face of a political structure. Words have power. The right words can make things clear or obscure, build or destroy depending upon how you use them.

It’s not always easy to take the raw ideas of a world and make it viable. Creating people for those worlds from a mere thought is both exhilarating and scary. Have you used the raw materials properly so those characters live, breath, and react, in the landscape of your world? Or have created paper dolls; stiff, unresponsive, and cumbersomely move them around your world by telling it all. Is your world real enough, so that the reader feels like they opened a door and stepped into your world seeing the wonders and able to connect emotionally with the people you’ve created?

If you’ve done your job correctly, your readers react become connected to the characters. The reader has moments of fear, worry, and anger. Their hearts speed up trying to outsmart the villain, the heart melts when the hero gets the girl. They feel satisfied emotionally after reading and participating in your world or story.

There are times when you look at your created world and realize it’s not feasible or you look at the paper doll you’ve been moving around and see you need to revise, terminate, and recreate. Painful and frustrating—especially if you understand the world isn’t working as you saw it in your mind, or a character doesn’t fit or is reacting hokey.

Writing is a labor of love. The force of creation requires energy. As we wrestle with our world and characters, choosing the right words and scenes, we feel limp when we're finished. If we’ve done the job correctly we also feel ecstatic. Have you ever gone back and read something you’ve written and feel a sense of awe with how it all came together? That tingle that tells you you’ve done a great job? It’s exciting, it feels good and you’re flying high.

Then comes your critique partner or your editor. Trepidation and excitement reign. Putting the finished piece on display requires courage because in the stark flash of lightning, flaws become apparent. Critiquing is also a form of creation, destruction, and recreation. It breaks apart the raw materials and reshapes them. You watch in morbid fascination as chunks of your manuscript are ripped away.

If done correctly, something better is recreated. If done incorrectly, you feel buffeted by the harsh winds, torn, and broken. You’re looking for shelter from the storm.

What makes you run for cover? What makes you feel buffeted and torn? Critiques? Rejections? Revisions? Deadlines?

Conversely, what gives you the feeling of exhilaration and awe? Pull up chair and grab a cup of your choice and let's talk about it.


Sia McKye has spent over twenty years in marketing and promotion. She's written and published various articles on writing, marketing, and promotion. She's a Marketing Rep by profession and also writes fiction. Sia has completed a single title romance trilogy and is busy at work on a fun paranormal series.


SueO said...

I can't say that I've ever ripped my characters out to set them up again. Now I wonder what I'm doing wrong...

sherriehansen said...

If these photos are from your recent storm, that's what I'm terrified of. The next book I hope to have published is called Stormy Weather... it was fun writing storm imagery... Not so fun being in the middle of one.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

As a professional photographer, I love the images you used for this post. They really drive home your message.

Critiquing is toughest for me...

L. Diane Wolfe

~Sia McKye~ said...

Sue, I'm not saying you do anything wrong if you're not ripping away. I was thinking about the very first MS I wrote. Lots of telling, not enough showing and all the newbie mistakes one makes. I've experimented with differnt things, some work some don't.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Sherrie, the lighning shot and tornado were take from the National weather shots. Our tornado was more hidden and when it went by the house it was at tree top level--about 25 feet up. I didn't actually SEE it until it was over the barn. It was terrifing to watch the trees go down and it was soooo loud.

Your next book sounds good. Best of luck with that.

Adina Pelle said...

What a wonderful article. I couldn't agree more . Writing is a labor of love and it comes with the required pangs and tamper tantrums sometimes .

Judi Fennell said...

What tears me up? Honestly, not much anymore. Going through 3 public online contests and having readers publicly love it or hate it numbs me. All I can keep doing is writing the best story I can and then make it better with feedback.

I'd love to see some more photos, Sia. Now that I know you're all safe, I can look at them. :)

Jamie C. said...

I think it's time to destroy and re-create a couple of my novels. I enjoy the creation part so much more.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Judi, you've been tried by fire. I have more pictures but haven't done much with them. Mostly for insurance purposes. I'll sort through them pretty soon.

Jamie, I've destroyed and re-created my share, lol!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Darling Hawk. I love to take pictures too. Seems like you take 10 shots to get one really nice one and and about 50 to get an excellent one.

I need to get by to your site and say hi, but this week has been insane. :-)

VA said...

Being the coward I am, I run from the fear of rejection itself. Stupid really. Logically, the mind knows, but is emotionally hijacked. I also know that I am not at the point where my work is professional enough to be submitted. Perhaps when I feel I've mastered more the fear will recede. I hope!

Sheila Deeth said...

I run for cover when my husband reminds me that if I can't get a job I should go study some more. I'd rather write.

SueO said...

Sia, I wouldn't be at all surprised if I *AM* doing bunches of stuff wrong. :-) And I'm like VA in that I fear the rejection. Then again, I fear success cuz then you have to do it again and again and again. Too bad I can't make money writing and just letting it all sit in computer files. :)

~Sia McKye~ said...

lolol! Sue, what are we going to do with you? Everytime we write a story we learn something. We improve our skills. Critiquing others work and reading will teach much in the way of good writing skills. I'm always learning.

Success is feared more, I think, than failure for that reason. It's always, what happens if I run out of ideas? Rarely does a writer run out of ideas, lol! More like, which one should I do now.

Thanks for stopping by Sue. :-)

mynfel said...

Great post, Sia. And very telling for me. I just got my first rejection today (wheeee), and now it's back to figuring out what I need to do next.

Scary ride sometimes, tho.

Other Lisa said...

Hmmm, right now, it's the pressure of working on a new book and wondering if it's any good, if it's going to work, if it's going to fall apart in a smoldering heap. It used to be any pressure that I felt was self-imposed - if the book didn't work, it didn't work, and I was the only one who would be disappointed. Now I have the added pressure that I'm writing for others as well as myself, and well, it's a little hard sometimes.