“You’ve written this scene correctly but you’ve lost all the feeling of the original.”
I inwardly cringed as I read the feedback from my latest writing assignment. I’d worked really hard on this one. I’d applied everything I’d been learning to the rewriting of my first scene and somehow still managed to miss the mark. I scanned the document, taking in the rest of the suggestions and comments. She was right. The scene held all the emotion of a research paper. It was my last lesson for her class. She’d been a wonderful teacher and I’d really wanted to write this one especially well.
“As your final, non-binding assignment, I’d like you to go back and add in some of the emotion you had at first.”
I read the last words she’d written again and then again. The original scene was something I’d written before I’d taken any classes. It was raw and terrible and she’d liked it.
A week later I decided to pull out the scene and do as she’d asked. At first it was hard. I felt like I was going against everything I’d learned but after a while I found myself loosening up. I sort of felt like a kid who’d just been handed the keys to Chuck E. Cheese. I was free!
When I finally hit save, I was amazed at how differently it read. Sure, there were probably things that were technically wrong with it but the emotion was back. It was no longer a research paper but a real story. It’s been a while since that lesson but it’s one I’ve kept with me. My writing doesn’t have to be “Perfect.” It’s kind of a freeing thought, isn’t it?
“Stop worrying so much about the rules of fiction and start focusing on mesmerizing your audience.” Jeff Gerke
What stops you from writing freely?