26 October, 2011

Now Boarding for Good Intentions

Writer's Wednesday!!!

How do you plan a vacation?  Drive to an airport, scan the board, pick a flight that sounds nice, see where it takes you, deal with changing money and finding lodging after you arrive, and then try to find out what you're even going to do while you're there?

I'll concede that some people can and do work that way, but they are in the minority.  Most of us first plan a vacation by what we want to do when we're there.  That's the reason to go.  If it's a generic want (beach, ski, someplace new...), then it comes down to how far you're willing/able to travel.  Is there a particular location where you want to be generic?

First knowing your intention before you write is paramount in writing.  If you wander aimlessly through the lexicon of the English language, seeing where it might take you, and then hope to find your intention once you get into it, then pretty please, with a cherry on top, destroy everything you wrote before you found your intention.

Your intention can be generic:

  • I want to write a story where a boy meets a girl, they fall in love, they separate, and then get back together never to be separated again.
  • I want to write a story about a group of powerful men that conspire to withhold true control of the world from everyone but themselves and only one person armed with plucky charm and a disbelieving sidekick can bring them down.
  • I want to write a story about the heartwarming drama of simple small lives that make us realize what being human really is and teaches us to want what we have, not have what we want.
But, if you're going to be generic, you better have some interesting destination or a platypus will repeatedly smack the back of your leg with a garden spade until you think of one.  Give us (your readers/audience) some indication that we haven't read this story, like, a bajillion times (even though we have).

It's important to note that the intention is not the pitch.  The pitch tells the whole story in one sentence (okay, maybe sometimes two).  The intention is the raison d'etre for what ever you are writing.  Having a clear intention, especially having a specific, unique, and clear intention, will bring you one step closer to realizing there's no such thing as writer's block.

Does everyone have their intention written out?  Good, now you're ready to go on vacation!

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