Use The Force Damo

You remember the climactic scene in Star Wars right, where Luke is on the trench run to destroy the Death Star, and instead of relying on his tracking computer uses the Force to hit his target? Well…that’s me and writing at the moment. Kind of.

For writers, the tracking computer is your mind. It wants to develop logical processes for creating stories. It wants to plan out scenes, chart character interactions, define genres. It wants to know where you are going, and exactly how you are getting there before you even put pen to paper. A writer’s imagination is the force. It wants to dive into telling a story, immerse itself inside characters, feel every emotion it can. It has no idea where it is going, but it has absolute faith that wherever it ends up will be great.

Writing, for me at least, is all about getting these two waring parties working together in harmony. To much mind and the story never make it onto paper or is stiff and dry when it does. Too much imagination and the story meanders in circles until it sleepwalks it solipsism. But get the mind and imagination working together and the story just spills onto the page, almost as though it is being channeled through the writer from some other place. A strange and eerie feeling when it occurs. No wonder writers are so often obsessed with magic and the supernatural.

Notes from the interwebs…

Tobias Buckell gives a lucid explanation of the the Amazon vs. Macmillan showdown. I think the argument goes deeper than variable pricing, and believe writers need to think long and heard about where their real best interests lie in this argument. It is likely with neither Amazon or the publishers.

Full programme announced for the Writing Industries Conference.

I’ll be reading a new story At the heart of the maze i will find at Short Fuse on 16th February.


Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.


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