Tuesday, July 6, 2010

begun but not finished

Hello and welcome to my first blog post. Hope you enjoy it and visit often.

At a recent children's literary event in Adelaide, a boy told me about his ten stories. At least he'd begun ten stories. None were completed. What could he do? Does this scenario sound familiar? How many of us begin with a white fire idea only to have it fizzle out or us lose interest? What to do indeed. It was obvious the boy had set a pattern for himself. He'd grabbed something and taken it to a point and no further. My advice - because he asked for it- was to finish at least one piece. It didn't matter whether it was good, bad or ugly. It was the completion that was vital. Without giving a piece a shape he wouldn't be able to review it, rewrite it, or decide not to continue with it. I told him about bum glue; how we sometimes have to sit tight and work through the hard parts of writing. If we get up from the seat or give up all the time, we're going to be left feeling unsatisfied. That's not to say, we can't have lots of ideas in notebooks or waiting in line on computers. That's different.
I hope the boy now only has nine story beginnings.
What do you think?