Tag Archives: Writing process

Remember,

Last week I had to remind myself again. It seems a weekly occurrence for this thick-skulled writer.

Don’t get stuck on the missing details.

This is the first draft. I am building the skeleton around the heart. The sinew and other organs can be added later. It is not going to be a complete, fully-functioning work on the first pass-through. I am not that writer. Do I look like S.E. Hinton? No.

Write what you know now. The rest will come.

As I am writing each scene, more snapshots of future scenes and future moments in this scene reveal themselves. Maybe that’s why it takes three hours to write one scene. 🙂 (How many hours to write my first draft?)

I already know some written scenes will not be in the final manuscript. And I know some that will likely be combined. But that’s good. Some scenes are only meant for the writer: to deepen my understanding. They feed the story. They feed the writer. They are the pieces digested and turned into bone and muscle.

It will all come together: after the 4th, 5th, 6th….17th, 23rd, 31st draft. 🙂 I am a builder, a laborer. Not a finger-snapping magic wielder. I have the privilege of being a sojourner in my characters’ land, and I want to experience each scrape, each slide, each fight.

I love it! 🙂

This first draft. It will be a gruesome thing to behold: flesh here and there, bones exposed, fractures, organ pieces pulsing. But that heart will be beating.

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The Journey Continues

IMG_0745

I love this journey.

I have been back to writing steadily for more than a week. Back in the thick of the journey. It’s incredible. I love when the unexpected happens. Love it when my expectations are completely wrong. I love when my characters surprise me, especially when it’s two main characters that surprise me. This is the beauty of writing.

The characters know how to write their story far better than I. And I love it when they take over. I love that feeling: when my eyes are following the words my pen writes, listening and watching my characters, and my eyebrows flick up in surprise or I have to smile in admiration at one or more characters. I love it when they surprise me, and I have a feeling they love to surprise me. Like: “Bet you didn’t see this coming.” “Bet you didn’t know this.”

Their version is so much better. It fits better. It is the real story….What I want to uncover.

Happy to be discovering. 🙂

Ciao

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What’s In A Name…

Early fall color along hiking trail in the Ice...

Early fall color along hiking trail in the Ice Lake Basin. Fuller Peak and Golden Horn can be seen in the far background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The somewhat overused phrase…but with good reason.

Well, I finally did it. I found the name. Granted, it’s not on my current novel. But it is on one I will be discovering shortly thereafter. And it’s been plaguing me that I did not know the name. It poked and prodded and teased. Merciless. But I finally ‘bested the beast’.

The name is vital. Vital to the entirety of the book. It is involved in the title, involved in the essence of the protagonist, involved in the other characters’ perception of the protagonist. It felt so incomplete to only have part of the title. If I had not had any of it, it would have been better than some and not all.

This afternoon I found myself with the inclination to wander in its direction again. I started following the usual trails, trying to find the rabbit trail off the main path. I followed several through the dictionaries and origins and variations. Nothing. Some would come close in essence but not the correct sound or immediate reaction. But one came so close. I could feel the victory standing on the opposite cliff. All I had to do was find a way across that opening of nothingness between us. I followed the main path to a rabbit trail and then to a hunch that led to another hunch. I knew the correct name was buried just a little deeper, so I tweaked and twisted until ‘Voila!’ it was staring back at me.

Sigh. Happiness. It is finished. The title is complete, the essence is named. I can continue with my current work without the incessant interruptions of an incomplete task.

The ridiculous thing is: I have set my mind to the task periodically for more than a year now. But, no matter, it is complete at last. That story can rest peacefully (semi-peacefully, it still calls to me sometimes) until its turn comes.

Ciao

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The Way It Is

English: Debrecen - McDonald's

English: Debrecen – McDonald’s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes I wonder: Why the heck did I have to want to be a writer?

Why couldn’t I want something simple? Or something complicated but attainable? Why couldn’t I dream of being a teacher? Or a nurse? Or a career waitress? Or a McDonald’s employee? Something attainable through a set education? Something that has a normal-to-high chance of employment in the field upon graduation?

Why did it have to be writing and authorship?

But when I think about it… I guess I dream of being Me. I am a writer. I am a story-teller (in the modern sense of the word…not a liar). 😉 That’s just the way it is. Would I change it? No. But, sometimes, being human, I wish I was normal. But, oftentimes, being human, I’m elated that I’m not.

So what am I going to do? Am I going to sit on my Writer’s Bum  and do nothing? Or am I going to sit on it and do a lot of something (writing). And so I push steadily onward. I am a writer. I am an author. And, one day, I will be a published author – even if it’s self-published and 99% of the world hates it. (It could never be 100% hated…I love myself too much for that. – Kidding!) 😀

Oh but wait, I am published – an internet-published author. Sweet! 8)

 

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Battle Won

Christus in the storm on the lake; Rembrandt (...

Christus in the storm on the lake; Rembrandt (1633) 160 x 127cm, stolen from Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been struggling with a segment in my draft. I found a stopping place, but, when I returned, I could not find my starting place. I was stuck. I would sit down to write and stare at my page waiting for the words to form in my mind. But the few words that sprouted were wrong. All wrong. I couldn’t figure it out. I knew what came next next, but I didn’t know how to get there. There had to be a path, but I could not see it. My creativity was trapped in the future. So what could I do now?

Every day I came back to it. I sat and stared, and stared some more. A sentence would come to me. I would write it down. Then I would scratch it out. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. I could not solve this puzzle. All I could do was stare at the blank grey of the huge boulder in my path.

It had been several days (cue: something’s about to happen) and still no useful words, no genius, no creativity for the present. I strolled into the kitchen for a drink (water… I wasn’t that discouraged) and turned to head back to the show I was watching. I had not been writing. The battle continued in my mind, but I was resting in the midst of it, letting it crop up here and there with a serious concern. But all that changed. In the moment it took me to walk from the kitchen to the living room, the thought formulated in my mind, transporting me to the land of writing.

When I think back to my surroundings at the time, all I can see is the white fog of a cloud. I guess that’s where my book resides: in the middle of a cloud, in my mind. 🙂

Two sentences. That’s all it took. Two sentences were my ‘bridge over troubled waters’. I immediately commenced the writing of the literary bridge in my notebook. Beautiful. I was elated. The little writer inside was jumping up and down, and thinking egotistical thoughts. The battle was suddenly amazing. It was beyond a silver-lined storm cloud. It was bright and shining, and incredibly worthwhile. (Waiting can be a gift in disguise.)

I love these experiences. It doesn’t matter how many times I have them, seemingly. It is an amazing thing to work, anguish, and despair over a novel. And it is amazing to revel in the beauty and wonder of the creation, and creating. The one increases the other. Don’t trade the ‘roller coaster’ for easy boredom. 🙂

Battle won. Now, on to the war. 😉

Ciao

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Gift of the Present (and Lupo)

Today was a good day, nothing strange to share. 🙂 No writer’s block, no hit on the head. Just relaxed and writing on my book. I thought it would be a perfect time to share a photo of my baby, my beautiful munchkin, Lupo Piccolo.

One of his favorite places to nap when I'm on the computer, so he can be close to me.

One of his favorite places to nap when I’m on the computer, so he can be close to me.

This weekend marks the first time I have been away from him overnight since May, when I vacationed for a week on the Florida beach. Beautiful, wonderful, serene place to rest and soak up poetry and creativity for writing.

Florida Beach at Sunset

Florida Beach at Sunset

I think sometimes we writers dream of the big break, that moment when our book is on the shelves, but I just love the writing process. The entire experience of losing yourself in a story, plunging down that deep hole and into another world. It’s amazing. It’s a gift. One I intend to thoroughly enjoy.

Sometimes I’ll catch myself thinking about the end goal of being published, and almost wishing I was already there. But I stop myself, pull my thoughts back to the present, and remind myself to enjoy the process. To not let this gift, that I will never have again, not with this book, slide past unnoticed. I want to revel in the process. I want to sink into it like slipping between cool sheets on a hot summer night. I must never forget to truly experience the present while working toward my future.

Enjoy the process of your life.

Ciao

(Note to self: buy more notebooks…)

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