Monday, August 15, 2011

Blazing images

I've been off-and-on reading the book Novel Voices on my lunch breaks at work. It's a collection of interviews with 17 award-winning novelists all about writing. The cover of the book says "on how to write, edit, and get published" but so far I've seen more about the writing process itself. Admittedly, I do scan over some areas because I'm not familiar with the author or the passage just isn't holding my attention.

Today, I was reading the interview with Carrie Brown. I confess, she is one of the authors that I'd previously never heard of. But just from reading her chapter, I want to read her books. Several of her answers resonate with me, and make me want to write more.

Especially this one:
What is your writing process?
The best description of my writing process would be that it is like moving in a dark room after leaving a brightly lit space. I've no idea where I'm going, the way might be dangerous, and all I can see are these blazing images imprinted on the retina and fading fast.
I wanted to say out loud, "Yes! That's it exactly!" When I begin writing something, I have no idea where the story is going. One I've been working on for a while, my NaNoWriMo attempt, is still sticking around and now the story wants to go in a completely different direction than the vague idea I had in my head last year. I'm not sure yet how to transition the story, but it's still there. The characters are just like the "blazing images" Ms Brown describes- I can almost see them when I close my eyes.

In another question, about how quickly she's produced her volume of work, the author has another response that I can identify with. "Some days, everyone in the novel seems to cooperate with you in moving the thing forward. Other days, they refuse to even get out of bed." Right now, my characters are in the refusal to get out of bed stage. There are times when they jump up ready to go, but those times usually happen at the worst times for me - working, driving, times when I'm unable to record the words.

I feel like I need to schedule a "writing time" in my day, maybe not every day. Writing "as I find time" never seems to happen, as there is never extra time to be found. As I'm learning with my health, nothing good will happen unless I MAKE the time.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great book to add to my to-read pile!