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Writer's Block: Caution, Meet Wind

When was the last time you threw caution to the winds? And what were the consequences?

In writing my novels. Every single time I write a novel, I start off with the vaguest idea and throw all caution to the winds and jump in with no idea what it'll become. I have no idea how it'll end. I have no idea what the main conflict is -- more often than not, the introductory conflict gets resolved early and helps introduce the main conflict as one of its consequences. Eh, sometimes the consequence is a bad or muddled rough draft that's not worth rewriting.

But when that happens I start over from the same idea and see what happens next time -- usually a better book.

I don't ever do that out in real life because I have had way, way too many real-life hairy adventures and rough bits where I wound up making "lesser of two evils" choices between nearly equally unpalatable or dangerous alternatives (or both). I think any thrill-seeking got beaten out of me somewhere in grade school. That used to bother me more then than it does now, it's all right to be in my fifties and not a thrill seeker but a grizzled old veteran. But it was shameful when I was a teen or child, it bothered me a lot.

Consequences when I did get in trouble for anything -- which was most often digging in on conscience over some principle I had derived on my own or just for being happy or something -- were always a lot heavier than any other kids I knew of at the time had to deal with. They are drearily routine to anyone who grew up in an alcoholic home or with someone who has serious mental illness, the torture and Catch-22's and mind games constantly inflated the risk of doing anything that would involve real misbehavior, the sort of thing other children would get punished for. I had an idea that if I got caught at any of the sort of scrapes other kids did and got spanked for I might get murdered.

To this day I'm not sure it was that far off either, because I run into stories worse than mine and hear or read about kids that did get killed by abusers, drunks or mentally ill parents. It happens. It's not as unthinkable as everyone pretended it was back then.

When I write or draw, then I am free to do things my way and craft them the way I want. To write the novels I want to read and paint what I want to see on my walls. Whatever anyone else thinks of the subject is their personal taste. I try to do it well in a technical sense but know that any of it is going to have some people who adore it on subject, others who hate it on subject, a few who are also writers or artists judging on technical criteria and helpfully critiquing (sometimes with a deep understanding of subject and other times from a distance of not liking the subject)... and that's fun all around. I don't care that not everyone loves all of it or expect anyone in particular to.

If it comes out well in my eyes then it came out well.
Explore-Oil-Pastels-With-Robert-Sloan.com Articles at eHow.com, ETSY shop, My Bonanzle Booth, deviantART gallery, SFFmuse and look for art by robertsloan2art on eBay. Listed on Art Blogs 4 U
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Interesting art blog: Patrick's Art Blog focused on realism!
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Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance

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