It was an eye opening writing day for me. I’ve been working diligently (we’ll, diligently for me anyway) on my new thriller novel over the last few days. I actually started it a couple years ago, but I’ve had periods of time that I didn’t work on it. I’m calling it Coal Mountain for now. I’m not sure yet whether that will be the final title. It seems sometimes when I complete a writing project, the original name sometimes no longer fits.
But, that’s how I write and how my mind works. It’s all over the place! When I begin a new story, it starts simply from an image I saw. Maybe I was out for a walk and witnessed an interesting character. I know nothing about the person besides what my eyes tell me. Or, I see an old building that catches my interest. Sometimes it’s a small town I come across in my travels. Sometimes all I need is a random thought to start my imagination. It’s funny how something so simple can turn in a 70 thousand word novel.
I grab a legal pad and start writing based on an experience. I do not have an outline. I don’t know all the characters yet. Sometimes I don’t know any of the characters at the beginning. I definitely have no idea where the story will go, how it will end, or how to get there. It’s such a slow inefficient process.
Then, it happens. I’ve got a few characters established. They begin to grow and real personalities emerge. I know what part each will play. I know where to go from this point. And then things start happening pretty quickly for me. It’s almost like the story is telling itself in my mind. It’s almost effortless at times. I simply have to write down what I see playing out in my head. Before I know it, the first draft is complete.
Then the real work starts. Then I must go back through the whole thing and “fill in the blanks” I left because I was in such a hurry to write before my imagination got too far ahead of my pen.
Before the point where the story takes on a life of its own, it can be a real struggle for me. That’s my excuse for the periods I go through when production is very slow. I so look forward to getting to the point I reached today. It makes the struggle to get to here worth it.
It’s amazing the effort some will put into something that they may never get a return from. I think writers, myself included, suffer from functional insanity. Ok, semi-functional.