Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 26: The Golden Coffee Cup -- NOT SAVING ANYTHING

Click here to learn more about the Golden Coffee Cup.

Welcome! I hope you go for a walk today, then I hope you get to work. We've only got a few days left. Snap! Snap! Snap!

Stasia Kehoe is one of the most human, humble, fun folks I know. Here’s a link to her blog. If you don’t know about Writer on the Side, yes, you will thank me later. Her upcoming book AUDITION (Viking, Fall 2011) is going to flip your world. Her words reveal reality -- no easy feat. Here her secretary offers a furry high five!



Stasia brings today's hot java:

I am so happy to be sharing a few thoughts about writing during Molly's Golden Coffee Cup Challenge. I've been writing for many years (okay, decades) but just got an agent and book deal about six months age. It's been a process of great joy and discovery and, honestly, I wouldn't trade all those child-rearing, writing-on-the-side years for anything.

Along the way, an important discovery I made is that writing is about getting close to the bone: Connecting personally to the characters you write--telling their truths. And, most importantly, NOT SAVING ANYTHING.

What do I mean? If you find yourself thinking, "Oh, readers are going to be shocked when they discover what I'm going to write three chapters from now" or "I love this turn-of-phrase but I'd like to keep it in another manuscript I've got in the drawer--not use it for this one," then you are SAVING. Holding back. Staying a bit too far away from the raw edges, the breathless moments.

To use a sports metaphor, you've got to leave it all on the field--to run every race so that you're so tired you feel like you'll never run another. Sure, it can be scary to have something major happen to a character early in the novel, or to use up every great metaphor you've ever constructed in just one manuscript (trust me, you'll think of more).

To be clear, I'm not saying that pacing isn't important and that plot secrets can't be kept but there's also a way in which you've got to feel like you're giving everything over to your story in each moment.

For me, I have to let the story own me--to feel like I'm standing, blinking under a magnifying glass, a blinding light--and to allow myself to react without hesitation and worry about the consequences later.

So, seize every moment as you write, put your passion on the page, and don't save anything. Happy Writing!


Come back for more hot stuff tomorrow!

Today's quote: Only with absolute fearlessness can we slay the dragons of mediocrity that invade our gardens. George Lois

3 comments:

SWK said...

Hi, Molly! Thanks for letting me stop by. My "Golden Coffee Cup" goal is moving along. Enjoying your posts every day. - Stasia

MollyMom103 said...

Awesome! Your advice was like a putting on glasses and seing better. Thank you for it.

I have had to do a little goal revision but some things are getting done. :)

Molly

Janet Lee Carey said...

Great advice Stasia. I really liked:
I have to let the story own me--to feel like I'm standing, blinking under a magnifying glass, a blinding light--and to allow myself to react without hesitation . . .

Yes to Not holding back.

More good coffee to sip today. Thanks, Molly