Talk about time flying! Three weeks since the last time I posted here. Sorry! Won’t happen again.
I said last time I would write about my creative process. It’s a very personal thing, but if you can glean a thing or two from it, my process is well worth sharing. Most times, following William Faulkner’s advice, I apply seat of pants to seat of chair in front of my laptop. Then I listen and take dictation from my characters.
During the writing of The Caravan (Book I), several characters tried to tell the story from their points of view. I ended up with the same scene a number of times as seen through different eyes. I had to get firm and let them know I wanted to follow Stephen King’s advice, to tell the story as though looking over one character’s shoulder. I picked Raj’s point of view. The other characters, especially Hirgar, got huffy, but said, “Oh, all right.” They settled down and got out of Raj’s way. The story got told and the book got written in a way that made sense to a reader.
The Castle (Book II) was frankly hijacked by Wulfgar. He gave me a host of reasonable arguments why he should have a major role in the story. I got huffy and tried to force telling the story from King Adlar’s point of view. Then Ariana (original name Alana) came on the scene and threw her support to Wulfgar. She kept nodding and saying after Wulfgar, “Yes, what he said.” I gave up and that part of the story got told from Wulfgar’s point of view.
The Cavern (Book III) is being told from King Adlar’s point of view. The man is finally getting his voice. In the beginning of the project, I made the mistake of holding myself to a deadline. The right words promptly disappeared. My other characters, probably because they felt sorry for me, told scenes from their points of view, both to get the story told and to help me meet my self-imposed word count (about 1,000 words a day). I ended up with a mishmash of points of view I couldn’t use. Once I backed off on the deadline, I saw the story was there, I just had to rework it to be told mostly through Adlar’s eyes. So, that’s where I am at the moment.
All the above boils down to this: Show up at your writing place every day, no matter how much or little time you have, and write. Even if you only have the vaguest idea of what you have in mind, write it down. Have a little faith that the right stuff will eventually show up on the screen – or paper. Woody Allen said most of success – he had a percentage I don’t recall off the top of my head – was just showing up. SHOW UP! And WRITE! ANYTHING, as long as words end up where you can read them.
Next time, my thoughts on the language we write with.