Monday, April 21, 2008

You Make Me Feel So Jung

I got this story second hand. At a recent event, a well-known author recalled an anecdote involving his mentor. This teacher was discussing planning and outlining a story before writing. When the, then, undergrad said that he believed stories emerge organically while one was writing, rather than mapping it out, the mentor said, "oh, you must be a Jungian."

The more I think about that observation, the more I believe that, to some extent, I am a Jungian, too. Writing is like an excavation to discover these archetypes buried deep within us that the conscious mind tends to ignore. Every story begins with a spark, whether it is a photograph or piece of music, but it is the process of picking at it constantly that leads to a cohesive piece of work. I find it incredibly interesting when a story I'm writing goes in a direction I wasn't expecting - I mean, how in the hell do you explain that? There is a collective unconsciouness, or objective psyche, at work within the artist (if I may be so bold as to call myself an artist) - almost to the point of possessing the writer. I've gotten lost in a manuscript where it seems that I'm more of a medium than the originator of the message - and it's wonderful.


pattinase (abbott) said...

I think there's got to be a little of that in every story or else it feels forced, dry, dull.

Josephine Damian said...

Took an online workshop with a gal who told us about an experiment with her (large) writer's group.

They all formed a long line with the plotter/outliners at one end and the pantster/go-with-the-flow organic types at the other with the most extreme of either type at either end and the more plot/organic blend types in the middle. It was pretty equal the number of plotters vs. pantsters, and, more important was that the published authors were represented equally on both sides.

As long as you get to the words "The End" - I guess that's what matters. But I do tend to think the plotter don't have as many "blind alley moments" or get stuck and stop as often as the plotters, JMO. When you get to be my age, you can't afford to spend time being stuck.