I know. I haven't written much.
In my defense, I've had over 300 pages to read in the past two weeks.
Against that defense, I probably did about 10% of that, and no its not because of some super important delay, or a family emergency, or even a worth excuse. Nope. Its because I discovered Queer Eye.
Are you watching this show?!? You should be watching this show.
But, I did do homework. I just didn't write. And, it feels like its been forever that I haven't written, and its been less than a week. The year of not writing at all seems like forever ago, though I only escaped about a month ago.
Writing is my habit. It is the thing that helps me make sense of this nihilistic world, as John Green says. More than that, though, writing is the thing that made me survive. It is everything to me, and not having the time to do it slowly chips away at me everyday. Now, most of the guys from Queer Eye would probably tell me to just make time for it.
And believe me, fab five, I'm trying.
But, its hard! I'm balancing 6 classes and a job that's part time, but is usually full time, as well as working on myself. It might seem like not a lot to you, but trust me. It is.
These six classes this semester, I chose, primarily, to help aid me in becoming a better writer. And, you may have noticed that I usually talk about a text or something I learned in class. Not only does this help me catalog what I learned (so that I can teach some of it to the students I will hopefully teach in grad school), but it also helps me reflect what I am learning now.
I am a bit behind, so I'm going to use the time to get caught up.
2 weeks ago we read and discussed Suzanne Keen's seminal work "Narrative Form". In this book, Keen writes about all things fiction and provides you not only with definitions of key terms, but with the argument over them.
I didn't know how hard it was to define story from plot until I realized that I didn't have definitions to begin with.
I don't agree with all of Keen's statements. (Like how Dickens was a creative genius - he wasn't), but I do see the benefit in not only defining terms for your sake, but for the sake of your writing. It helps you join a conversation that has already been going on, as my professor says. But, I think it also allows you to be in conversation with your work.
This applies to all art and to all work. We all have our own lingo, and we might just use these terms at the seat of our pants, but that doesn't mean we really know them. Keen shows the context to words and the importance of knowing them.
Even though it is often hard for us fiction writers to sit down and read something that isn't even creative nonfiction, but just straight up definitions, this is an important piece to keep in your back pocket.