I've been spending a lot of time talking shop with other intuitive writers, listening to lectures by my favorite authors, reading their how-to books, and being moved by pure emotion. One thing I learned is, aside from the mechanics and rules of writing/grammar, there is no real how-to. What pours out of an intuitive writer usually stems from their own dreams, fears, childhood memories, and night scares.
A writer's mind can be a frightening labyrinth, one made up of inexplicable visions and nightmares rolled into one nonsensical landscape. If the writer is lucky, another realm takes over--blurring the lines between fantasy and reality, blurring the lines between character and author--and new worlds are born.
The writer/author I've learned the most from, the one I can't get enough of, the one who guides me and gives me permission to create with joy and pure emotion regardless of outside approval, the one with the best fatherly advice is none other than Ray Bradbury.
The man is a writing god; he learned all he knows from his university: the local library, he couldn't afford college. He continually says in lecture after lecture, a writing degree is not necessary and the emotion behind writing cannot be taught. Most intuitive writers (himself included) feel then write; they don't think then write. To think then write is to slay creativity. If you welcome the critic before the creator, the result is one boring mess.
Until earlier this week, I had this notion that short stories, and writing short stories, was something done in a first year creative writing college class and nothing more. Boy, was I wrong.
Listening to Bradbury's lectures all week (and I mean everyday this week), I was moved to read some of his short stories. Fortunately, I have three books in my home library to choose from, and a few I read were: The Dwarf, The Small Assasin, The Town Where No One Got Off. Every single story played with metaphor, toyed with the human condition, and tickled my psyche; his stories, (parables, really) stayed with me well into the night, affected my dreams, and infiltrated the next day.
All this to say that shying away from one style of writing didn't help creativity. It hindered it. I've written first drafts of two short stories as a result and am unattached to the idea they need to lead anywhere. I'm doing it for the sheer joy it brings me to let an idea fly, allow the characters to go where they please, and write the story to completion.
After all, isn't that what writing should be? Joyous? Filled with real emotion? If not then why the hell do it?
If we're lucky, writing will be the seance and the keystrokes, the ouija board--characters are nothing but a medium, leading the reader deep into the author's mind.
Let the Martians ride the dinosaurs and see what happens. I bet it'll be pure magic.