View Full Version : A problem I had/have when writing...

Project nachonaco
11-25-2006, 03:30 AM
There is a show that has run on Nickelodeon called Avatar: The Last Airbender. In the show, a young boy named Aang is the Avatar, also known as the Supreme Being of the Universe. Whenever Aang is angered or enters a severe emotional state, he becomes the manifestation of all the past Avatars, and his power is super concentrated.

In the last episode, "The Earth King", Aang prepares to meet a guru who tells him he can control the Avatar State (the superconcentration of all the past Avatars).

The Avatar State has incredible power, and causes Aang's body to go on 'autopilot'.

That's sort of what I'm getting at. Yeah, cheesy similarity, but I'm a geek and I'm proud!

Whenever I write a normal scene, like Aang performs in his NORMAL battles, it's always a 'Zip-a-dee-doo-dah' type thing. Kind of cheesy, corny, and all sorts of stuff like that. Speaking of which, why are the cruddy adjectives always named after foods? Oh well.


Whenever I write for a VILLAIN, I enter what I call 'The Writer Zone'. There's a sort of 'light' feeling in my chest, almost like I'm not in my seat anymore. It SERIOUSLY feels like that. I'll envision the scene...And I can touch things.

I can feel things. The breeze, the cold metal pushed my neck or head or heart, the rubble closing in around my body...Doesn't matter. I still feel it.

My friend, let's call him cG, tells me that the scenes I write 'in the zone' are darn close to being perfect. He was the one that suggested that I enter a zone, and I spin gold.

It's a very weird phenomena, this zone. It's completely random. I'll say "I want to write this scene with x evil character and y good character being threatened by x." (Oh my God, I've just put algebra in my writing. Lord help us all.), and when I do, fireworks! I'm serious, these scenes give me the chills.

Going back to the Avatar comparison, I suppose I need to learn how to control The Writer Zone. I'm not quite sure how this is done. Certain quirks can jumpstart it and sustain it for a little while, but sooner or later it just....goes away.

I can play 'Before the Dawn' by Evanescence all I want, I can drink all the Coke Zero I want (until my mom cuts me off, "Soda is expensive".), I can eat all the Zest crackers I want...but it doesn't come back until it wants.

I believe that the Avatar comparisons aren't without merit. It really does feel like I'm out of my body when I write those scenes.

So, to you pro writers out there, can you perhaps lend a hand and help me control this state?

Cathy C
11-25-2006, 04:28 AM
I'm presuming when you say "control this state" you mean that you want it to come on command and stay for as long as you need it. Yes?

:roll: :roll: :roll:

Ahem...sorry about that fit of uncontrollable laughter, but you've identified the one thing that ALL writers want to control. Whether you call it "zoning" or "being in the zone" or "my muse" it's the same creature.

Creativity . . .

It's that golden spark of brilliance that turns words into images that be touched and smelled and tasted. I'm a visceral, visual writer. It's VERY MUCH how you describe your Aang moments (and yes, I'm a big Avatar fan--yip, yip!). It's a very "out of body" experience. It's like I'm transcribing what I'm seeing on a screen just behind my eyes. It's really THERE. All I have to do is write it down and the reader can nearly feel the world shake.

But controlling it?

Best of luck with that. I'll be looking forward to answers from anyone who's managed this feat. :)

11-25-2006, 05:14 AM
um......................put down your drug of choice, don't inhale hellium while you write, and just say 'no' to wearing a plastic bag over your hear for long periods of time.

;) heheheheheh

Project nachonaco
11-25-2006, 05:40 AM
But those are my three favorite things to do! :(

11-25-2006, 05:53 AM
Clearly, since your writing-zone is villain-focused, the only way for you to harness this power is to in fact become a supervillain.

Then the rest of us will gain inspiration from your diabolical feats. :D

11-26-2006, 12:22 AM
It's commonly referred to as "muse". You can't control it, at least not that I've heard of, and you can't force it to come. The best you can do is be sure you are writing when it does decide to come and visit and use it the best you can.

It reminds me sort of like a surfer, they can't surf without waves but they can't control the waves, size, duration, and so forth, all they can do is ride them when they come. There are things you can do to encourage the visit, self hypnosis (impossible with little kids running around just so you know), atmosphere of your writing corner, regular writing time and such.

11-26-2006, 12:43 AM
I find the zone thing happens when I'm really emotionally wired into whatever I'm writing. Say, a sex scene I've been anticipating forever, a cute scene that's just perfect for the two characters, or a chance to use a really clever bit of dialogue I've been rehearsing in my head for days.

So I try to write as much of those as possible, and if a scene isn't zinging like that, I think about it until I'm either fine with it being not-zingy or something zingier occurs to me to replace it.