Yves Brown McClain: Literary Fierceness

Posts Tagged ‘drama’

The Sky Is Falling!

Posted by Dahlia on August 29, 2011

Who doesn’t know the childhood fable of the chicken who believed the world was coming to an end and proceeded to shout that line over and over throughout the course of the story?  Thing is, there are real “Chicken Littles” that exist in our lives today. You know who they are, something is always wrong in their corner of the universe. That dark, gloomy, sky is always dropping on their head, and they feel compelled to let you know just how rough/dramatic/troublesome their life is. Man problems, child drama, daddy issues, job conflict, the list goes on and on and on…it just seems like Chicken Little is never having a good day. Furthermore, Chicken Little doesn’t want you to have a good day either. By the time you’re done dealing with Chicken Little, you’re likely exhausted mentally and sometimes, physically.

I knew this one girl that every time I found she was going to be around, I groaned. I remained cordial, even though every time she opened her mouth I wanted to scream, “Please go somewhere and get your life together!” She was a nice girl, but there was always some dramatic course of events going on in the background of her life and it drove me up a wall.

Now, we’ve all had our share of rough times. Some more than others. Her, more than most. Trials and tribulations are a part of life, and I completely understand it. However, it was as if she allowed her unfortunate series of events to overtake her life and the mood of the room would actually change as she pulled us into whatever issue she was having that day.

However, women aren’t the only ones who suffer from Chicken Little Syndrome. It can happen to men, too. There’s this one guy that whenever I’m invited to go around him and his family, I decline. I try hard to hold on to my peace and quite frankly, I do not have enough time and space in my life for joy-robbers. Sorry.

Oprah Winfrey has a good quote that I include in my email signature. It is, “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” I love it because if we only surround ourselves with the Chicken Littles, what do you think will happen eventually? They’re like drama vampires — they suck all the joy and energy from you and then you become one. That’s why it’s so important to be around people who are going to motivate and encourage you, but it works both ways. Iron sharpens iron.

So, do you or have you ever had a Chicken Little in your life? What have you done to deal with him/her/them?

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Relax, Relate, Release…

Posted by Dahlia on July 27, 2011

I completed my novella’s draft about a few weeks ago (I’ve got an excerpt available here). I was a little tapped out creatively to jump right in and start revisions on it, so I decided to return to my other WIP that I’d placed on hold to write the novella.

However, I wasn’t able to flip out of one story into the other for a few days. My novella had taken on a more dramatic tone, whereas my novel is a bit more lighthearted. Two things helped me transition: One was an enlightening conversation about fear and vulnerability with a fellow writer friend. (I won’t name names 🙂 ). This conversation helped me see that I must see my novel through to the end, despite the internal and external obstacles. Second, I read the work of one of my favorite authors, Lolita Files. And I laughed. A lot. I won’t get into too many details, but I’ll never see a thunderstorm the same way again.

Then I went back to my WIP. I began to have an experience similar to Beyonce’s after she wrapped up Dreamgirls and started work on her second album, B-Day. She said in an interview that she’d been confined to her Dena character for so long that when she got into the studio, she was able to release and all this creativity just came out. I
had taken about a month to craft this novella that’s a bit out of the box for me because of the drama involved in it. I tend to like my writing lighthearted and fun. But, I needed to do something different because I was getting stagnant with the WIP. (When you’ve been working on it as long as I have, it can get that way sometimes). So, I took the challenge of being a drama writer and immersed myself in it completely. So, it was safe to say that when I finally got back to my WIP, I needed to release. And I did. Suddenly, I had all these ideas and ways to fill in the blanks of the chapters I needed to add and make adjustments to existing chapters. And for me, I found them to be not only lighthearted and fun, but funny. (I’ll find out soon if others agree with me on the funny stuff) I’d been through too much pretend drama in the past month. I
needed a good laugh.

So, you may not need to go as far as I did and write a completely different story to get a break from your current project. It just so happened that I had the idea and decided to run with it. Fortunately, it helped me return to my WIP with a fresh set of eyes and a bunch of ideas while at the same time, I was able to stretch out of my chick-lit comfort zone and dabble in drama for a bit. So, what do you do to release when you find that your WIP is getting a little stagnant?

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