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  • Harson Gorfanletch

Let Love Out

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

When I started writing, I just started writing. The words bled out and the outline of a story formed on the ground. It was just unadulterated blood-letting. Literary savagery. I loved conjuring words and moving them around on a screen and I just did it. There was no method. I was a sorcerer, a shaman, a charlatan, poking and prodding and cutting and not knowing what worked and what didn’t. I had no clue about the rules of writing: I had not studied fiction and I had not studied how to write fiction.

As I continued to write, a story appeared and I was happy with it. Intriguing characters materialized and did things I liked. Twists and turns came and went, but I still did not learn and study. I was enjoying it too much. I was really no more than a child assembling a car from scrapyard junk.

I was sustained by the enveloping joy of creation, the liberation of my imagination. The car that my hands wrought was the car of my dreams, the car every 5-year-old draws and wishes for, but it was a car that was going nowhere.

Many days later, following periods of plenty and periods of drought, I am finally learning how to put together a car that might take me places that otherwise I would not have seen. What surprises me as I edit and redraft and edit some more, is that the car is still the same shape. Ideas initially don’t need to be written well, but they do need to be written down. The inspiration and the characters, the story and the plot, all of them can exist in the absence of any technical ability to write a scene or structure a sentence. Ideas and stories drove me to write, the pleasure of creating keeps me going, and that is thrill enough should I never get to the point where someone deems my writing publishable.

But...if I could do it all again I would damn well read a good few books about writing fiction before committing 80,000 words to a hard drive. I don't regret the blissful hours spent writing in ignorance, but I do wish I had taken the time to learn the rules.

Next week I will outline the books that have helped me on my journey.

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