I found this place, per instructions, after trying the writing exercise in On Writing, at the end of chapter five of the "On Writing" section of the book (in my copy, it's page 173, but I know that's different across copies). The one about plotting vs. digging up fossils.
I'm wondering if anyone else has thoughts on it? I assumed there'd be a thread already started about it, and mods, if there is, please point me thataway.
I had an excellent time with the exercise. It felt really freeing, to have a predicament, or a situation, and to be able to move from there with the story, as it came. It's how I usually write anyway, but I didn't really know that until reading this part of the book, which was a great feeling (to be able to go "yes! I do that! That's a thing, yes!"). I think one of the big challenges I face with my writing right now is feeling too anxious about putting it all down at once - sometimes I have too much in my head, and I get really scared, while in the middle of writing, that it's going to slip away before I can catch it. I get panicked, and I get sloppy, and then I get frustrated, and then it isn't fun or good anymore.
But this experiment actually taught me a fair bit. I don't know a better way to put this (which is too ironic on a lot of levels, but leaving that aside for a moment): it gave me a lot of faith that I wasn't going to miss anything if I stopped and took a breath every once in a while. Yes, there were still times that I was feverish, which is a wonderful feeling, but it didn't amp to panic, which was great. I trusted in the characters and I trusted in my initial (or King's initial) situation to carry them through, and to let me go with them. Like he says, it's sounds real cheesy, but it feels that way. And that was great.
I ended up with about 4,500 words, which would probably edit to about 3,000, and I don't think it's really keepable stuff (I tend to treat exercises that way, as learning tools, not as talent-on-the-line endeavors. Although sometimes, that leaves me with way better work than when I'm trying to take myself seriously... anyway), but I'll keep for me anyway, for sure.
So yeah! Just wanted to, er, start this, and also to say: this book is great! I've been writing since high school, did writing in undergrad (as much as you can do that), and have been working on writing submitting since (I'm 25), and this has been a breath of fresh air and kick in the butt all at once, to combine two excellently cliched phrases. Thank you, Mr. King!
Anybody else got experiences with the exercise? Let's start a thing!