I want to talk about my writing process but my brainmeat is in hyper mode. When I went to edit this entry, I realized I had started but didn’t finish most paragraphs. My brain was already writing the next one before my fingers could catch up.
I had a rough time settling down to sleep last night. I’ve been doing my writing in the evenings due to work projects taking my major thought processes in the mornings. It seems that this creativity streak doesn’t want me to rest.
My refusal to get involved with more than 3 summer TV series has left me with more creative time. I can’t believe how my stress levels have decreased as my time for creating increases. I need to remember this when I get mired in anxiety and chaos.
For a long time, I’ve been getting in my own way with finishing this book. I keep trying to force things and stalling. So I went back to the way I do most of my art. I start with a concept then dive in. What develops from there is anyone’s guess.
I had an important secondary character placed in the story to move it along where needed. I thought I had a slight concept of his background, but last night I decided to work on his backstory. When I sat down, I had no idea what I was going to write. I started listing out a few facts, and 1200 words later, the reason he’s in the story became painfully clear. It was like his life had sticky tendrils that have ended up pulling the story together.
When I was in Tucson, I wrote a key conversation, but I had no chapter leading up to this conversation. When I sat down to pick up the story line this past weekend, I started a chapter following the timeline where I had left off. When the chapter came to an end, much to my surprise and delight, the very next chapter had to be the conversation I wrote. It was as though I wrote a perfectly shaped puzzle piece without even trying.
I guess what truly confounds me is that I don’t try to do this. All I am doing is telling a story. Some days, it doesn’t feel as though it’s one I’m creating as much as telling one that I know and am just remembering it.
It’s liberating to not have a plan. And I believe that when I do my final editing, there will be much clean up work to do. But I have more confidence now that I don’t have to know what comes next in the story, I just need to tell the story of these people and then fill in the gaps.
I often reread what I’ve written the next day and most times I honestly can say that I had no idea that was going to work, but pleased that it did.
Originally published at Stage 3: bohemian. You can comment here or there.