Thursday, 11 June 2009

My Writing Process

A blank screen: I stare at that a lot. I know it as well as the back of my hand (I stare at that too). So much, so, that I’ve even named it…Blanky, Oh, when Blanky shows up I feel like throwing myself down a flight of stairs. Luckily for me, our house has no stairs. Instead, I scream out vulgar phrases at the screen, being typing, stop, delete everything (I don’t get far, maybe a sentence) I’ve just written, then go back to screaming. It’s a tedious routine.

And this only happens when I’m writing the one, the novel I’ve been pouring my heart and soul into (evil, soul-sucking novel, ggrr!). For this novel, (titled: Bloodstone), I can’t write a chapter unless I know EVERYTHING: from an insignificant butt scratch, to the bloodiest gun battle. I need to know, because if I don’t know, it doesn’t feel right. When it doesn’t feel right, I dump it into my draft folder and let it rot there for all eternity. Yes, I probably should see some counseling…after I write this damn thing!

So, my writing process? PLANNING, lots and lots of planning. Some say that too much planning takes away the ‘magic’, and so, you don’t want to write it anymore. I hope I’m not the only one, but it’s different for me. I don’t ever come across such feelings. I get a lot of joy from planning, a lot of inspirational thoughts, moments, etc. And then, when it’s a great idea, I’m hyped and ready to write. If I don’t plan, I feel like I’m stumbling around in the dark, looking for the light-switch.

And whenever I’m in doubt, I run to Jess and Marie. THANK GOD FOR JESS AND MARIE! Feedback can open your eyes to an undiscovered route.

So there, my not-so-amazing writing process.

By, JJ :)

Monday, 8 June 2009

My Writing Process

I was never really a planner when it came to writing. I used to have an idea and just roll with it. But one day that bright little light bulb went off in my head and there it was. The characters, the storyline, everything and I knew that it was definitely going to be my biggest challenge yet. So my writing process had a major makeover and I was left with something completely different.

My characters are probably the most important things for me so naturally they come first. I want to know who they are in their everyday lives and that’s where profiles come in. I get to know my characters as best I can. I’m not too bothered with every little detail because the small things, and even sometimes the really big things, tend to reveal themselves later on down the track or even change from time to time.

The next step is setting. Where is this big adventure going to happen? This part of the planning, I have to admit, I don’t go into a huge amount of detail. I get the basic information I’ll need and go from there. I write urban fantasy so I tend to reshape and play around with my information anyway.

Now it’s time for the plot. What’s going to happen? Who’s doing what? You know the drill. I love this part. I get to put my main characters in scenes and come up with amazing things for them to be a part of. I like to use cards for this part. I first start small, so by small I mean chapters. I plan them out and each chapter goes on a different card. Once that’s done I dig a little deeper and plan out each scene in each of those chapters. I have a special wall in my room where these cards live, where I can change them and move them around. It is forever changing but I like that. I’m always having new ideas and I’m really happy with what I’ve got right now.

Now it’s time to get my hands dirty and start writing! I have to confess that I don’t write everyday. But on those days I don’t write, my mind never stops churning out ideas or finding out something new one of my characters that I never knew before. This is also the part where Marie and JJ come in. I would be lost without these two girls. They have been beside me from the start and know everything there is to know about my novel and my characters. I run to them when I’ve hit my brick walls. But even though they know the ins and outs of the world I’ve created, they are separate from it as well. They can look at the situation objectively and that is the best thing sometimes. Having people to bounce ideas off can be a great asset to any writer and is something I highly recommend.

My best writing happens in the afternoon and at night. After my family is asleep, I am free to let my mind wonder without any interruptions. During the afternoon I love to write with a cup of hot chocolate beside me, a big bag of chocolate chip cookies and background music. The music is always something instrumental that matches with the scene I’m currently working on. I think it helps to create the mood and get you in the right fame of mind. One of the best feelings is when you’re on a roll, when the words are spilling out and your fingers can’t hit those computer keys fast enough.

Writing is a huge part of my live and I love nothing more than creating a world where anything can happen. Where I can be anyone I want to be and I can escape the drama and complications of life. For me, writing is freedom. And weather my writing career takes off or it’s destined to be nothing more then a hobby, I don’t see myself giving up my freedom any time soon.