P P P

Thank goodness next week is a “reading week” for College. I’ve just had an intense seven days with no break, lots of classes, and little rest. There are a number of deadlines looming for projects in the coming weeks. I’m going to have to get on top of my research for an essay, and start polishing my film treatment.

Today I tackled a re-write of a story that was rejected from a magazine last month. It was good to rework it and smooth off the rough edges. I fired it off to another market. Let’s see how it fares this time.

It’s been at least six weeks since I’ve had any time, or inclination, to work on my short stories. I’ve been focused on writing for film, and thinking about that form. I hope to re-write another story this weekend, and–all going to plan–send it out to a market too. I don’t want to get bogged down in writing just for film, as I think a variety of work will keep the learning curve nice and steep.

Yesterday, we spent the day listening to a provocative writer who spoke about “classical” screenwriting–i.e. from a strictly Aristotelian point of view. It was a challenging day, which left me with plenty to mull over.

Much of what I’m learning, especially about structure and character, can easily be transposed into writing for short fiction or novels. I hope to assimilate this information and bring it into how I approach all my work in the future.

Of course, nothing will improve unless I continue to write, and to experiment with styles, structures, and point of views. The theory is only useful if it is applied.

I’m not very forgiving of my mistakes, however. Yes, that’s how I learn, and I can’t develop as a writer without them, but it would be nice to improve just a bit. Sometimes all I see are these big lumbering errors, crappy prose, and clichéd plots, and I wonder if I’m just fooling myself.

And then I sit in front of the computer and take another shot at it.

Persistence. Pig-headedness. Patience.

The three Ps of becoming a better writer.