Monday, May 3, 2010

Bit by the Story

I’m not afraid of spiders.

Today I’m presenting the lovely topic of how writing is like being bit by a spider.

How writing resembles a spider bite—

~ Spider bites create an incredibly attention-grabbing itch. Once a story is planted in your brain there’s little you can do to dissuade it from infiltrating your daily activities—your whole life routine.

~ Spider bites cause swelling. Whether your stories are character-driven or plot-driven, your imagination will likely swell throughout the writing process. You worry about spiders hiding. You pat your head dozens of times to make sure nothing is there. You might even worry one will hunt you down while you sleep. The same thing happens with a story. You’ll be in a conversation with a friend and have to fight off that overriding thought…I can use this in my novel.

~ There’s a mysteriousness that accompanies a spider bite. Often you don’t see the chomping occur, so you’re left to wonder when it happened, by which type of spider. Oh yes, the same happens with a deliriously entertaining story. It may get you in your dreams. It might pinch you while you’re splashing in water…you’re never safe from the prowling birth of a well-weaved tale.

~ Spider bites mess with your concentration. In other words, it can easily become a consuming focus. Some spiders can even cause infections. Here’s where you’ll need to watch yourself. You don’t want to babble on to every Joe Shmoe about your latest novel. The ideas may be multiplying fast as spiderlings crawling from their egg sacks, but not everyone understands just how bad the bite is.

You may be well aware of the term for a fear of spiders—arachnophobia. For a writer this is writer’s block. My advice—bite back.

Can you think of any other ways writing is like a spider bite? Or do you have any advice for someone who fears spiders?

*This month I’m excited to be in Lucid Magazine, Sage Girls Ministry and at Exemplify, revealing how to talk yourself down from a tantrum.
**photos by flickr

30 comments:

  1. OK--I can deal with spiders but not the kind here that when you step on them, a zillion babies run out and they freak me out--so trying to think that when we think of our stories, a ton of plots some times start to develop. Ok, I tried but maybe I do hate spiders!

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  2. Ugh! You made me queasy this morning!!!
    But I loved the comparison.

    Sigh. The ole story can be deadly, like an infected spider bite, perhaps??!!

    Stretching to match your good writing this a.m.!!!
    Blessings,
    Patti
    www.pattilacy.com/blog

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  3. I am not afraid of spiders either, but that second photo was creepy!

    You may need medicine if you get bit by a brown recluse. The only med I know of for the writing spider is to write, read, and write some more.

    You amaze me with your creativity! I'm on my way to read the tantrum article you wrote...

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  4. OK, I am shuddering at the pictures. Spiders creep me out WAY more than they should. It's just not normal. Great analogies, but yikes!

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  5. Hm, I suppose we can be careful and observant around spiders, paying attention to the details of their web as we create our own web of words, drawing the reader in ;)

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  6. Spiders don't bother me because I can step on them. Now, snakes - that's another story.

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  7. Stories, yes. Spiders, no. Yeah, that second picture is the creepiest. I wouldn't say I'm aracnaphobic, but I'm definitely not a big fan of spiders. They have some cool webs, but to walk into those webs... Ugh. That's the worst feeling! And I hate it when I know there's a spider in my home somewhere, after losing track of it. Because I don't know where it'll show up next. And I am totally that person who feels a tickle on her skin and freaks out a little and brushes herself off all over, thinking it might just be a creepy-crawly.

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  8. Interesting analogy. Never thought of it that way before:) Congrats on the articles! Love the 'Modesty of the Mouth'. Will check out the others too.
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  9. I really, really tried to get through this post, but I absolutely HATE spiders and I was squirming in my chair the whole time, especially with that second one staring at me like he wants to eat me. When I got to the part about egg sacks...oh my, I'm shaking.

    But I do like the analogies of the *bites*. So true. Especially the attention-grabbing itch and the swelling.

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  10. You always have the best analogies! Thanks for your prayers. I know you know.

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  11. An apt comparison, but ....EW! Those eyes!!!!

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  12. This is a great analogy. I love all the different levels of comparison. I'm actually one of the few people in the world who likes spiders (though not the poisonous ones). Once when I was a teenager at camp there were these spiders as big as our palms under the beds (this was in Hong Kong). The other girls in the cabin insisted on killing them. I thought we should let them live because they weren't poisonous, but of course I was outvoted. One girl looked at me and yelled,"Would you like to wake up with that thing on your face?!" Well, no, I guess not. This probably applies to my writing in some way. I'm too sympathetic, for one thing. I have a hard time killing off (cutting out) unnecessary characters in my books. I need critique partners to yell at me: "Do you want that thing hijacking your entire plot?!" Um, no. ;)

    Amy

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  13. What pictures!!!! I think writing is a like a spider bite because every now and again you have to pull back and make sure the story is alright before moving forward. You'd hate to have a bite of something terrible in there to make the reader slam the book close.

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  14. Really good post, even though I don't like spiders! :)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm following yours now and look forward to getting to know you.

    - Shannon

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  15. Bite back! That's too good. Yes, I've been infected by the bite. I just HAD to start writing my coffee shop drama. Those gals inside my head were getting way too loud!

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  16. Quite the comparison. Good list and fun. Maybe keep thinking, it's better than a snake.... :O)

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  17. Yuck. But definitely interesting analogy! :)

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  18. I love this analogy, it makes me far less fearful of this creepy creatures.

    You always manage to get my mind into gear- thanks Wendy!

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  19. Ok, seriously???? :) I couldn't even READ your blog becuase of my case of arachnaphobia (sp?) LOL

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  20. I'm still grimacing at those pictures, my brain isn't working properly. I don't have arachnaphobia, but I still don't want to be around spiders. Had a tarantula crawl on me once (ew, that makes me squirm).

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  21. I missed your thoughts - you are still the queen of similes and metaphors in my book.

    I don't mind spiders - probably because Charlotte's Web was my favorite book as a little girl;)

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  22. Yuk, I hate spiders. Those were creepy pics! I guess my only idea is, WIP can be just as scary at times.

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  23. Eeek! I'm so afraid of spiders! Just ask my husband...When I see one in our house, he's the hero who has to come take care of the poor creatures.

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  24. Amusing post..I love the analogy.

    I once walked through a giant spider web face first. I had no idea where the spider was and no one was with me to assure me the spider wasn't on me. EW!

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  25. Oh, Wendy. I have severe arachnophobia. And so I've blazed here to comments, just to say hi. :)

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  26. Wonderful analogy, Wendy! That spider is disgusting, girl!

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  27. Love this! And yes, we can't allow the spider bite to paralyze us from our daily tasks. :)

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  28. You're so creative, Wendy. I never would have thought to compare writing to a spider bite.

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  29. Yikes! Those pictures! Yes, writing can feel awfully spidery, and I can get all tangled in the web. ... Or I can write words in the web. (As in Charlotte's Web...)

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  30. Love this! And here I never knew how much writing was like spider bites! :)

    Thanks for the fun post!

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