Sometimes when I read other people's blogs, it drives home the fact that my own blogs are pretty fluffy. And that's okay. I'm not seeking to change the world, I'm not here to discuss my political views, I don't consider myself an expert on the subject of anything but myself (and possibly spreadsheets... and sarcasm). If someone does read my blog, I hope they find something they can relate to and enjoy, and that's all. If my book ever gets published, and if people buy it, and if that purchase leads them here to this website... they may very well be disappointed... unless they're looking for the person behind the book. What I want is to be relatable... I'm willing to share my own foibles with the world.

(Okay, what's the deal with all the helicopters flying over head? Go away already, you're loud and you're throwing off my groove! The Emperor's New Groove is an awesome movie by the way - LLAMA!)

I'm sure that (eventually) someone will make their way to my site thinking it's a site dedicated to the art of writing. Because - I can almost say it without choking now - I'm a(n unpublished) writer, and that's what I advertise on the home page. But nope. This blog is just me talking about whatever the heck amuses me at the moment (and as you may have noticed, I'm all over the map... EVERYTHING amuses me). If what you want is writing advice, check out my Writing Biz page, any time I find something interesting I put it there -- and I updated it again today.

Today I am going to talk a little about writing... nothing so lofty as craft, just the way it works for me. People have asked, so I assume it's interesting to someone out there. I'm pretty sure my method won't work for most people. Until recently I preferred to write by hand, now I prefer to use the computer, but I digress... sort of:

Location and setting: Very informal. No desk. I sit indian-style on my love seat, in front of the television with the volume down so low that it's barely audible - yet loud enough that I'm not struggling to hear because that would distract me - I have my laptop cradled in my lap (as I do now)... and I type. Obsessively. When I've got the creative juices flowing, hours of my life disappear and I only realize time has passed when I have to stop and turn the lamp on in order to see.

When I finally force myself to break away from the computer to take a bath and wind down for the evening, I take my notebook with me so I can write down whatever pops into my head, because God has cursed me such that most of my best ideas come to me when I'm in the bathroom... and I wish I were making that up. Afterward, I may go back to the computer, or I might carry my notebook to bed with me, because God has also cursed me such that the rest of my best ideas come right as I'm about to fall asleep... and if I don't write them down I get into a long (mostly internal) debate about whether I can remember this nugget until the morning, or whether I should write it down immediately -- trust me, if you have this dilemna, write it down immediately and save yourself the heartache of a lost idea, or the tragedy of insomnia.

Process: I write, then the next day I re-read, and add to, what I previously wrote. Anything that was handwritten in the notebook gets transcribed onto the computer. Then I build on what I wrote. I didn't use an outline initially, although once I got into this story I did sort of draw a skeleton to keep things sorted out.

I don't know how many edits I did because I edit as I go along. As I mentioned, I am always re-reading what I wrote before... George Lucas says don't do it... write until the whole story is out there and then go back and edit... but what does George Lucas know? (I jest) I save at least one new file each day, with the date and word count, and if I make a major story change I also save a new file with 'story change' in the title. Not only does this make life easier if the idea doesn't work out, it also helps me feel secure that I can - without a doubt - prove that I am the author of the story should it ever become necessary. If 120 or so files don't prove anything, I don't know what will!

Whenever I get what I consider to be a brilliant idea that will further the story, I skip several lines so there's an obvious break, and I type it out so that I can revisit it in the future and see what I can do with it. Anything I delete from the story goes into a scrap file in case I can use it somewhere else (not a word or two, but good sentences and paragraphs).

Where do I begin: I start with a line, something that I can't get out of my head. In this case it was "I moved here from a place where the sunlight was abrasive and cruel; where it not only beat down on you, it also beat you down." Then I add to it. In this story I wanted the first paragraph to set a mood that was almost palpable, so I challenged myself to be as descriptive as possible.

I ask myself questions... how would someone accomplish this... how would I feel if this happened... how the hell is she going to get out of this mess... and see what answers I can come up with. I may get ideas from conversations I have, songs I hear, movies I watch, books I read, random internet tidbits, dreams. Wherever the inspiration comes from, I make sure to tweak the idea until it's mine. I do sometimes draw from my own life experiences, and apparently it shows, more than one person accused me of being Grace... and okay... we are similar, but we're also different. Thankfully, they also felt that my other characters had a different voice.

I also did a lot of research. I researched wolves, morthouses, skeet shooting, castles, cailleachs, wildcats, gardens, lime-based paint... all kinds of things. Many times that research led to more ideas.

I don't know if that's helpful to anyone. That's just how I did it. There's no one method that works for everyone, that's for sure. If you're a writer, stick to whatever works for you, and good luck!

Comments:

Greg -- Unfortunately, we drive the same streets my friend

Jeff -- Have I mentioned that I'm going to Scotland soon? LOL Today's weather is awfully nice, too... windows are open again
 


Comments

Greg
09/16/2009 05:58

Stand by: E-dictionary - Foibles...

Reply
09/13/2010 17:42

Loveliness, needs not the foreign aid of ornament, but is when unadorned, adorned the most.

Reply
12/17/2010 19:22

Asesoramiento gran, práctico y muy necesario*

Reply
03/04/2011 01:32

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