Hello! It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here and for that I apologise. But I do now have my website up and running, which has taken up more of my time than I’d imagined it would.
I haven’t looked at Explicit Instruction this week though I’m itching to get it out. But I have my editing process and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
What else? Hmm? I spent a large part of last night outlining another project that will stay on the back-burner for a while but it’s always nice to take note of ideas as they flicker through my mind – otherwise I forget. Plus, writing out an idea, the plot and themes, building the characters with names, appearance, occupations etc. allows the idea to develop.
At the initial stages of my process I often feel it’s a game of join the dots. Starting with the beginning (sometimes) then as the characters come together I’ll get an idea of scenes and how they’ll play out in my mind. Flashes of scenarios then form the bare bones and I can find out, ‘ok, how do we get from point A to point D while hitting B and C in the process.’
Then there’s the ending. There has to be an end point but I find it’s best to keep the story loose initially because often the more you write and the deeper you wade into the narrative process the story and/or characters take on a life of their own and boom you’re going in a different (and hopefully better) direction.
Writing has to be a dynamic process, it’s organic, but it can be easy to forget that. At times I’ve found myself working and reworking to try and fold in a secondary character only to realise that, ‘hmm, I can just delete this guy altogether – problem solved.’ But as any writer will tell you the life and world of that novel becomes as real as any other three-dimensional, tangible world we live in.
The characters may only live in our minds but they don’t feel contrived. While getting their experiences and conversations out onto the screen I don’t think about thinking them up they’re just there. Like I am transcribing a conversation I may be eavesdropping on… and that’s where later editing comes in, lol.
My tactic of ‘be creative – now!’ keeps me going. Though I’ve been working with my business this week, promoting Mistake Me Not, and getting my website up and running I still write every day. Keeping in mind that over and above any other work I do to obtain income for the household I am a writer.
Writing is a part of me. It’s a part of me that’s always been there. I could no more turn my back on that than I could on eating and sleeping (though as mentioned in previous posts those often fall by the wayside when I’m writing). Yesterday I was waiting at lights while taking my son to his swimming club and I found myself wondering – what do other people do?
I don’t watch TV. I listen to the radio in the car and have music on while I’m doing housework or writing. But everything in my life hinges on deadlines. I work to tight deadlines with my business. I give myself specific writing goals and always keep them – even if I’m up to the small hours. But what do other people do?
Writing takes up so much time, not just the process, or the editing, but the outlining of projects. There are covers to design and descriptions to write, then there’s the evil monster of promotion – and there was a time I considered a career in marketing but with all that smoke and mirrors, is anything real? (Says the woman who makes up people and situations for fun in her spare time).
People are talking about summer holidays and home improvements, which is all well and good. But my driving force for writing has always been in me. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live in a world without a passion.
I know I’m lucky. I love to write and even when I knew I wasn’t very good at it I still did it. My writing doesn’t judge me, it’s a release for me, and while I talk to friends about writing a hundred thousand words they gape because they struggle to write their kids notes for gym.
It’s just there. My love for writing (and reading) have always been there. Friends who don’t so much as read the cereal packet gape when I tell them that I read books from start to finish without putting them down because I have to know what happens. I’ve missed whole nights of sleep because I was enthralled. Books charm me, they seduce, and coddle me. I love the feel of the paper, the smell, the words to me are art, as beautiful to look at as they are to read.
It’s hard work to write a novel but I don’t feel it’s a chore. I’ve fallen asleep at my desk before but when I awake I never resent it. I go about my day with a smile on my face because I’ve made progress, whether it’s ten words or ten thousand I’ve moved forward, every day I produce something.
I remember when the early mobile phones were out and we were limited to a hundred and sixty characters (before the days of Twitter). I genuinely struggled and as I notice how much I’ve written today I see things haven’t changed much.
Abbreviations can be just as bad, I actually had to teach myself to use them. To this day I cringe when writing ‘lol’, and I was around when MSN Messenger was the most amazing thing. I used AIM and spoke with people across the planet and together this language was developed.
But it’s odd, I might inwardly cringe but it’s not out of any sort of literary snobbery (I don’t think) it’s because I feel like I’m doing something incorrectly. Typos drive me mad. They happen to us all but when I come across one – especially in my own work – I feel as though the teacher will berate me then send me to the corner, or give me lines to write – it’s insane.
But I’m going to shut up now. I’m rambling and I could probably could go on all day (I’m working to a deadline and am wavering in my resolve, can you tell?) Enjoy your weekend folks and always remember to read – even if it’s just he back of the cereal packet.
Good luck on your adventures,