One-Eye Blind

I didn’t notice, until I went to take this photo of the pretty flowers, that St. Francis is now blind in one eye.

Apparently some sort of insect has built a cocoon or egg sack in the cavity and sealed it over. I can’t decide if St. Francis’ love of all animals extends to insects. You don’t really see him depicted with, say, a preying mantis on an outstretched arm. Still, life is life and I’m inclined to let whatever it is develop as it will.

That tends to be my philosophy on most everything. And not just because I’m lazy.

I think that’s why Taoism fits me well: just let it flow, swim with the tide, ride that wave into the shore.

It’s how I write, too. I usually have just a general idea of what happens, but not exactly. For example, right now my characters are visiting this sacred altar. I knew it wouldn’t be easy to get to, being secret and sacred and all, but I wasn’t sure what the tricks and traps would be. I found out as my characters went along. Now that they’re there, I’m not sure exactly who or what occupies the altar. It hasn’t jumped out yet, either, which gets kind of frustrating.

I’m really not sure what I think about this kind of thing. Robin McKinley, who I just love, and who writes this nearly incoherent, stream-of-consciousness blog that I can only sometimes bear to read, writes here about why there’s no sequel to Sunshine, a book well-loved and which clearly ended begging for a sequel. She does the thing some authors do, saying that the stories come to her and she can’t make it happen. Other authors talk about their characters talking to them. The pre-plotters brainstorm it all out ahead of time and then, depending on their technique, either write it exactly that way or let the story wind around that structure.

I don’t know if I believe in the “stories are given to me thing,” though it fits within my Taoist inclinations. I don’t know that I think it all up myself, either.

I do know that the answers don’t come to me unless I’m writing what’s happening to the characters. Or letting the scene play in my head – that sometimes works. I think sometimes that it’s a combination of both, like most things. I point the imagining part of my brain in a particular direction and let it run. The neurons pull the energy from wherever they do and spin the story. Part of me can see it and part is blind.

Quite remarkable really.

6 Replies to “One-Eye Blind”

  1. Haha, your idea method and mine are actually rather similar. I basically have an idea for either a character or a scene, write them as they pop up, however unrelated they seem, then sort of organize what I have into a rough order, which generally gives me another few ideas to fill in some of the blanks, and then I further organize them, and so on. Until complete. Yes, this does mean I'll write a number of versions of a specific scene, but that just gives me options for the next draft. Best of both worlds.

    …And I'm really glad to learn that I'm not the only one who adores Robin McKinley, but has a really hard time getting through her blog.

  2. Some people are simply not meant to blog. Makes me *really* wonder what her drafts look like…

  3. I am a plotter, at least with who my characters are. I can spend days working on that. But when I sit down to write the story is pretty much already worked out in my head. The writing process is just to clear it all up and polish it.

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