Slowing Down

Ruth Shamansky (mother of my friend Rise) once said, “I have a lot to do today and I’m going to get to all of it by slowing down.”  She was making a joke at the time, but I think those are damned wise words.  I’ve taken them to heart, particularly as I’ve begun to realize the need (my need; I can’t speak for any other writers) to take my time with what I write, to slow down the narrative enough to give the characters time to speak their minds.  I get terribly excited by the advent of a new story idea.  I want it all to happen NOW!  I want to rush to get it down onto the page.  Sometimes I mistake a draft for a finished project.  I am learning to take my time, slow MYSELF down as well as the narrative, to take time to “be where I am” and see what the terrain looks like.  Case in point:  I’m working on a story called “Picture Perfect.”  I want it DOWN, I want it DONE.  The story is making faces at me.  “All in good time,” says the protagonist.  “Don’t rush me.”  And she’s right.  The story well tell itself if I give it the time to do so.  (Patience has not been my strong suit in the past.  It’s going to have to be in the future.)


About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
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