Wednesday, April 04, 2012

D is for Deception

This morning, gray rain fills the sky, and I'm thinking the weather forecasters are predicting a little snow sometime over the next several days. I'm always surprised, not having grown up in snow country, when rain becomes these funny white fat flakes, a somewhat magical transformation that turns all things white and new.

Writing about writing does not advance the story.

But plopping that butt in the chair may lead to writing. Not necessarily good writing, but once those words are on the page, and the story is done, a writer revises, following that inner sight that says this works and this does not.

Discipline, training, creativity, and tenacity -- these are the gifts I wish you.

Discipline to write every day for then all parts of your mind are brought to the task.

Training to bring to the writing the full complex of tools that will meld story from character, conflict, plot, pacing, setting, dialogue, and action. Of these, we writers could say one or more present challenges. Most of the time, I like my conflict off stage as I generally hate conflicts of any kind, except when something threatens those I love. And under the umbrella of training I would put a command of English -- grammar and syntax, the tools to play with, and later, the tools needed to revise and edit with a very cold eye.

Creativity is a gift, a certain way of seeing or expressing or something mysterious, like a guest we so want to visit, some call her 'the muse,' but we know this guest will arrive on a whim, unexpectedly, full of drama, and she will leave, just as unexpectedly.

Finally, tenacity. That small inner voice that says "Yes!" when someone tells you that being a writer is frivolous or impossible or won't pay the rent. Well, in my case, such stubbornness may stem from Swedish roots, but I suspect many writers are tenacious. At least some of the time. Enough of the time?

So D is for Deception for sometimes we deceive ourselves. Our characters do not speak truth. Our job is to push through and write. Ah, outside I see a soft snow that flickers white and then gray with rain. A man walks by my apartment wearing a red knitted hat, his dog in front, a German Shepherd with tail lifted, happy to be outside. It's time to write.

Today is Day 4 of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. Visit to read what other writers have written.


  1. I love this one, Beth, with its stream of consciousness, starting with the rain that might turn to snow, and then the ending where it is snowing and the man and his dog pass by. Wonderful imagery. I'm back to putting my butt on the chair. Thanks for your gift today.

  2. Um, err, discipline ... not one of my better traits. Procrastination ... now that's me! Great post.

  3. Very nice blog today Beth. I mentioned it on my blog. Have a great evening!Holly

  4. Great post. There is so much more to writing than most people realize.

    AtoZChallenge Dragondreamer's Lair

  5. Strange thing deception. Especially in a writer's mind. Is it there at all? I go with discipline. I write, therefore I am.

  6. Thank you all for visiting and commenting. I'm beginning to think the "D" should have been for "distraction" for writing historical fiction is as much about research as story. I'm continually following where the research takes me and never quite sure where and how research and story will best come together. But if we pursue discipline . . . THAT should have been the "D".