Too much TV

Here’s what I think my problem is:

One of the keys to writing is translating the mental image into words. We imagine scenes, voices, characterizations, and we take all of it and put it into words that are evocative and, hopefully, describe everything in a way that measures up against actually seeing it with one’s eyes. The ideal is that we describe it better than one would see it, because we can give more insight into a character than you can get into the guy walking down the street. For a moment, we can make the reader a god.

But I haven’t been living in a world of words for some time. Instead, I’ve been watching TV. That’s been wonderful and fun, and I consider both Netflix and Hulu fantastic investments that I’m not going to give up, but I definitely need to cut back. I need to spend more time reading and thinking in the language of writing. I can dream up the scenes, but my mind isn’t working in the manner it needs to be to write those scenes out. TV can help me see and dream, but it can’t help me write. Only practice and reading will get me back into that.

One step at a time. Since neither of the stories I’m working on right now are going anywhere right this second, I’m going to go read for a bit. I’ve been wanting some hard and terrible (in the sense that terrible things happen, not that the writing is bad), but also fantasy. Nabokov left me depressed, so maybe it’s time to re-read The Song of Ice and Fire.

It can’t hurt.

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