WORD FOR THIS POST:
Exuberant (adj.): effusively and almost uninhibitedly enthusiastic; lavishly abundant: an exuberant welcome for the hero.
Thanks for the shout out today to Alex J. Cavanaugh. If you haven't done so, check out his blog!
How much writing I do depends on the day. It’s not about inspiration for me, at least not all the time. It’s about finding time. Once I find time, I sit down and the words just spill onto the page. Some of my friends say my emails are way too long. I tend to be able to go on forever, which to me is a curse, because that’s the stuff that needs to be cut out later on in editing.
When I type, the ideas just flow. I transfer myself into my characters heads. Physically imagine myself being there, in their shoes and wondering what they would do next. If nothing comes up, I think of tastes, smells, sounds, and the textures around me. Cook books and gardening books come in handy. By the time that’s done, my character usually knows what happens next. If the setting becomes too boring I imagine the worst thing that could happen and I make it happen, and we have action.
When I say character, it may sound weird, but it’s true. What’s typed on the page usually comes from the character. Sometimes it’s a struggle because he/she wants to do exactly the opposite of what I’d like them to do, but I guess that’s when a story becomes ‘character driven’. For that reason, it’s difficult for me to write outlines. I try to have a rough idea of the beginning and end. As I start, the middle begins to develop. I may jump between chapters, or write other scenes that I’d like to have in the book, but I’m not sure where to fit them in, only finding the right place later on.
If time allows, I can type 5000-7000 words per day. Beyond that it gets tiring. If I know what I’m writing about, it should take me about an hour to get 1500 down without too much trouble or too many interruptions. My husband can talk to me all he wants, and it’s like he’s not even there. I’m not trying to be rude, but when I’m in the zone nothing gets through. I’ll nod once in a while, which gets really frustrating for him. But I do explain before I start “I’m writing, pretend I’m not here.” I don’t care if it’s a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question, because I can’t hear the question, sorry.
I also tend to work on more than one project at a time. Right now for example, I have two novels in the works (words are actually written down), a novella (almost complete), a second novella (rough idea) and I’m beginning to think about the sequel for Two Halves. I tend to jump between projects and it always depends what I feel like writing about. It never gets boring.
To me, the act of writing is not working, it’s not a job. It’s something I truly enjoy, as do many writers. My goal next year will be to treat it more as work (although when I write it will feel like play) and by treating it that way, I will be able to perhaps find the time I need to write.
Do you have a process you follow when writing?