Sunday, February 05, 2012

Love Your Dreck Day

Love Your Dreck/Drek Day

Writers often complain that they're writing worthless Blah, Blah, Blah. It's termed Dreck/Drek.

Dreck is defined as Trash and Rubbish.

But Dreck, as it pertains to writing, is just a mush of ideas that can't quite take form, no matter how much we push them. There's nothing good about this mass of what we really want to write. Of the ideas circling our brains.

People, people. Dreck provides the doorway to what some people term as Writers Block. Personally, I do not believe in WB, the darkly feared boogeyman man of writers. Do not focus on what you think is WB. The more you focus on it, say it, you're setting it firmly into your creative brain and actually creating your block... Do not even think it. But more on that later.

When you're looking at that blank page on the screen, that first page, it's terrifying. Questions like, "I know I have a good idea, but what if I can't write it?" circle your brain. 

Okay, well, to get rid of that first page fear, here's a tip: Type in your regular format page, i.e. Name/Address/Contact left corner; go down spaces, Title Something, by Someone. Power down. Leave the page for awhile. When you come back, that page isn't blank anymore. This according to my own psychology of myself.

Writers have to do a lot of that, reassuring themselves, pulling little tricks to make them more comfortable with The Piece, The Work, The Book/Short Story.

So that takes us to Dreck, possibly the most valuable tool in our arsenal. 

You see, before a story starts to take shape, there are all sorts of ideas that the writer wants to infuse into his story. It's a huge bundle, even for the most efficient plotter. (You know there are Plotters and Plungers, right? :))

So here's this mass of material at the start of actual writing. We want all of it in the story, somewhere. But where to begin?

Just pick a Story spot that's best for that moment. Write. Write that Dreck. Free it. Push it out. Write more Dreck, stuff that doesn't move in a cohesive line, just a bunch of drivel, dotted with punctuation. This is probably your first chapter. Do not allow yourself to be discouraged when you do not have perfect prose, the perfect starting place for your story. Write on, Dreckers.

Dreck is a start, and that's a doorway through and into your story realm.

Sit back and take a look at your Dreck, this whole mass of too much that has to be filtered through the storyline. Your story is in there, but the pieces are too many to pick the right starting place. Snag a piece you think might work and write the Second Chapter. Then the third.

Go back to Chapter One and review. It's probably still a big lump of ideas. You may wish to cut that chapter, start with another scene, etc.  By the time you're 3/4 through the writing, you may want to go back to the start and infuse another element that just popped up, or delete an element/storyline that just isn't working.

The point of writing Dreck is that it gets the writer started. And that's what is important.

So, have you written your Dreck recently?


Tammi Kibler said...

I couldn't agree more. WB is just me blocking the door and trying to control which words are able to exit. When I get out of the way, whoosh, a lot of dreck, but also all the raw materials for something great.

Cait London said...

Thanks, Tammi. Best not even to consider it one minute.