Friday, October 12, 2012

Make it work

I'm sure you've all noticed by now that I believe there are many life lessons to be had from television. The one I wanted to talk about today was Project Runway as it applies to writing.

In case you're unfamiliar with the concept of Project Runway, designers hoping to break into the fashion industry compete in weekly challenges to make a specific kind of outfit with a limited number of supplies. Some weeks they are assigned to make dresses out of candy, menswear inspired by architecture, or fashion-forward onsies.

And when a designer fails--and one always does--it is usually because he or she went too big, or didn't go big enough.

I think this principle generally applies to writing as well.

Sometimes I write something, and I just feel ... blah. Everything is find, the writing is fine, the characters are fine, the plot is serviceable. Like a fine, boring, beige dress.

And then other times, I write something with origami pleating, color blocking, lace appliques, sparkly beading, and whatever other weird thing that comes to mind ... and then step back to realize I have just created a giant mess.

But you know? Sometimes I prefer the mess. It does make getting things done difficult, though.

What do you prefer - starting with something basic and embellishing, or going high concept and editing down? Are you just awesome straight out of the gate, like the Mondo Guerra of creative writing? (Lucky ...)

1 comment:

  1. I definitely like starting plain and building from there. Although, even with that, I always end up having a whole lot of stuff I cut. I think that's all writer's though. At least I hope so. haha