Monday, August 2, 2010

Blink . . . Blink . . . Blink

In the beginning . . .

there is a blank screen.

And a blinking cursor.

You type a word and sit. The cursor still blinks. Another word. It isn't waiting for coffee. It doesn't want to play a game. Or send an email. It's waiting for you.

It doesn't judge or berate or urge you forward. It blinks. It's the all seeing eye. Waiting. Lurking. Ready to grab hold of the tail of the next word and pull it across the page.

The cursor is a worker bee. It can back up, play hopscotch, highlight. It can run a marathon or take the faltering steps of a baby learning to walk.

It waits for us to give it input, then it gets busy.

Perhaps as writers, we should be more like the cursor. Open our minds. Don't judge or berate our characters. Don't nudge them forward.

Listen to them. Catch their thoughts and words, and drag them across the page.

The characters tell the story. We're just the cursor, pulling those stories across the page.

31 comments:

Sharde(Shar-day) said...

I think you're on to something here. Great post.

Sharde

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Damn that blinking cursor!

Laura Eno said...

Agreed. If I nudge, it sounds stilted. I'm amazed at what characters sometimes tell me. :)

Clarissa Draper said...

You are so right. You can't force the voices to talk you can only listen to them. Love the post.

CD

Lydia Kang said...

I love that. We're the cursor. We're the portal between this fictional word and the page.
Sweet post!

Jan Morrison said...

I like this very much. My cursor will never be the same for me. It is like my dog - are we going yet? Is it time? Come on? Just gently letting me know every damn second that movement is good.
Jan Morrison

Stephen Tremp said...

A fun post. Sometimes I want to reach out and punch that blinking cursor that stands there and silently mocks me. I know what its thinking. That its untouchable. But I can always turn off my PC and get the last laugh.

Stephen Tremp

Holly Ruggiero, Southpaw said...

Oh, I have a lot of blinking going on lately.

Talli Roland said...

Oh, I love that thought, Carol! Thanks!

Carol Kilgore said...

Sharde - Thank you!

Alex - I can relate to that feeling :)

Laura - Me, too.

Clarissa - I'm glad you liked this.

Lydia - Let's hear it for all us portals!

Jan - LOL - our dogs must be from the same litter.

Stephen - It's always good to remove yourself from stressful situations if at all possible :)

Holly - I think it was the blinking that inspired this post.

Talli - You're welcome.

Ann Best said...

What a clever analogy! I'll now be seeing the blink-blinking cursor in a different way.
Ann

Carol Kilgore said...

Ha! I often call it the blankety-blank cursor.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

So, now I'm supposed to channel my inner cursor? I suppose that' only fair, because my outer curser can be rather well-developed (at certain times, of course).

Sheila Deeth said...

I've just got my first ever laptop. That cursor keeps moving and doing strange things when my fingers slip. Disturbing. Maybe my life's a laptop cursor, or maybe my hands are still shaking too much since my eBook went live.

Maryann Miller said...

How clever to suggest we act more like the cursor. Although there are times the endless blinking drives me nuts. Wouldn't want to drive folks nuts... wait. Too late.

Carol Kilgore said...

Elspeth - I have one of those outer cursers, too :)

Sheila - Congrats on your new ebook!!!
One of my writer friends has a new laptop with a cursor problem, too. I hope you resolve yours soon.

Maryann - Try blinking at your dog like the cursor blinks. But don't get too close.

Elle Strauss said...

Well said.

Terry Odell said...

And maybe when you don't realize it's blinking, it's time for a break.

Journaling Woman said...

Brilliant! My cursor is blinking at me, what now? :)

Carol Kilgore said...

Elle - Thank you.

Terry - I think you're right!

Theresa - Sit back, put your fingers to work, and enjoy the ride :)

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Good point, however, sometimes my cursor goes backward across the page at blinding speed wiping out some great thoughts that took me hours to compose in the first place.

Carol Kilgore said...

Oh, no! Trade it in :)

Cassandra Jade said...

I think this might explain why I turn my screen off while I think and only turn it on when I'm ready to write.
Great post and great for getting us thinking about how we write.

Carol Kilgore said...

Hmmm . . . I never thought about turning off my monitor. Might help me.

Helen Ginger said...

Very good. Be the cursor, not the curser.

I like it. Can I do it? We'll see.

patti said...

I always like to transfer my frustration (at lack of ideas, stories, etc.) to inanimate objects--(cars, pots, pans) LOL.

Never thought of the cursor in this way!!!

Blessings, dear one! Great post!

Patti

Carol Kilgore said...

Helen - Right - don't be the curser. Spelling is important :)

Patti - Thanks!

cah4el said...

Very captivating little piece. I like it! The little cursor buddy. Thank you for sharing.

Carol Kilgore said...

Welcome to the Tiki Hut. Thanks for commenting. I'm glad you liked this post. Hug your cursor - LOL.

Palindrome said...

Great post!! This is the number two reason why I can't write on the computer. I have to handwrite first. Damn cursor!!

Carol Kilgore said...

I wish I could handwrite. All I do is doodle and pretend-draw.