Saturday, December 30, 2006

So what's it all about then?

I don't check out Miss Snark as often as I should, so it was good that Gabriele mentioned that Miss Snark was doing her Crapometer again. This is alway instructive, and Miss Snark is focusing on the hook this time round. Reading the entrants, time and again I saw authors fail to say what the novel was about. Now listing what happens is one thing, but I think Miss Snark is looking for the the journey of the character/s and the 'problem' to be solved. Indeed. And I think that's the difficulty with some of my tales.

My idea of what they are really about (as opposed to what happens) is hazy, at best. The silly thing is that I understand the concept from my reading, but I don't apply it elsewhere. Occasionally, I 'get it' and presumably some of the writing for my 5th century tale showed this when it won the writing competition, but I think it was on an instinctual level. A brief glimmer of unconscious competence, there perhaps. I'd really like to move from conscious incompetence to conscious competence one day, but for now the odd, rare, flash of being unconsiously competent will have to suffice. Here's a little more about the competence factor.

Good grief, my Christmas cactus may well be flowering by the early New Year. It has gert big pink buds on it. It's done better than last year, when it only thought about budding sometime in February. I have two of these plants btw, and the 'Mother' plant no longer flowers. However, it's in a much more sheltered position than it's 'Baby' so perhaps doesn't know when to flower.

The flowers are a delicate pink delight that only last for a few days, but they certainly brighten up my winter study :-)

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At 5:18 am GMT, Blogger wil said...

Don't knock instinct. I think you probably have a lot more than "the odd, rare, flash" of unconscious competence.

At 6:52 pm GMT, Blogger Sarah Cuthbertson said...

What the story is about, AKA the premise. I kept being told by those who professed to know these things that you need to state your premise before you start the story but I used to find I got so anxious about this that it completely paralysed my writing muscle. I suspect that for some writers, the premise only comes during the process of writing and is all the better for that -- unconscious competence rules OK.

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