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Perspectives On Writing
A guest post from Jason Berthiaume
As a writer, I am always interested in the writing processes of others. Part of this is because I shamelessly steal certain things that others do if I believe it will benefit my own writing. Another part, however, is because I am and forever will be amazed that we humans possess this incredible ability to record our stories for all time and that there is more than one way to do it.
Let’s take writing a first draft as an example. When I am just starting out on a story, I am riding high. I’m setting up the world, introducing my characters, and establishing my writing style—great stuff. Every time I begin a story, I’m having the time of my life.
Then the middle hits.
The middle of a story is my personal archnemesis. I know where I’ve started and where I want to end up, but bridging those two points is like wading through a swamp—it’s slow, it’s irritating, and it makes me wish I were anywhere else.
I guess I should actually go to a swamp first and see if that analogy holds true.
Anyway, the only way I’ve found I can escape is to just push through. I’ll write at least a little bit every day, even if it’s just one sentence, and eventually reach the other side.
The ending of a story might be my favorite to write. Perhaps it’s because I get so used to the middle-of-the-story writing slog that realizing I’m almost done is like flopping into bed after a long day, but there is something just so deeply satisfying about wrapping everything up. The climax at the end is the scene I’ve been driving toward, and I relish being able to bring it to existence because, again, it is the scene. Then comes the resolution, followed by the serenity of typing those final few words. For any story I finish, I find the feeling of being done to be truly sublime.
That’s my experience with writing a first draft, but every time I ask another writer which area of a story is most difficult for them, I get a different answer. Some say beginnings are the hardest. Some say it’s all great until they reach the conclusion. Some are with me and hate the middle. Th
ere is no consensus, no widespread agreement. Just different perspectives on accomplishing the same thing.
And isn’t that incredible?
About the author:
Jason Berthiaume is a twenty-year-old English major studying at UNC Charlotte. He’s been writing for a “long time” and enjoys it immensely. This is the first of many publications to come.