I've been writing (offline) a bit more during the still-fairly-new year, so the various difficulties inherent in it are a bit forefront in my mind. And yesterday, a chance conversation proved revealing: perhaps laying out for me the cause of a problem.
I ran into my friend Michael in a parking lot, and talked about some of his film projects -- he's done some short film work. Screenwriting and my literary aspirations came up, naturally, and somewhere in there a light went on.
I've been writing for television now for ... six years or so. I've previously noted to myself that it's affected me by hammering home the lesson of brevity. But something I haven't considered -- I've also become accustomed to writing alongside images. I'm used to not needing to put color in, not needing to describe the visuals of a scene. And that shows through in the fiction.
The novel I was writing when I moved out here was lousy, but it was very visual -- everything was described (a bit too much). Now? Just the opposite. In the most recent serious attempt, one chapter had a bit of description, the rest almost wholly without. The other day I sat down and wrote two chapters of something else that had been pushing at my mind -- not bad stuff, but absolutely no description. What do the characters look like? What sort of setting are they living in? No clue. I'm visualizing these scenes in my mind as I write -- but when they're on paper, that info stays with me.
So it's another barrier to overcome, but recognizing it feels sorta liberating. It would've been more liberating if I'd gone home last night and started writing, but you can't have everything, y'know?