How Writing Works for Me
When I start writing, a story is pretty clear in my head. That’s because I have to “see” what happens before I ever begin to write a novel or a short story or anything else as a matter of fact. That results in my looking like I’m just wasting time. Fortunately, those who know me, also know about this process of mine.
I visualize to advance my stories. I follow the characters with my mind’s eye and when I am satisfied with the movie playing in my head, I start writing. But to get there… well, that takes a while and quite a few tricks. I read a lot (I always did, but right now it’s a few books every week), I use visual stimulants – movies, TV series, manga, drawings, photos, the right kind of music coupled with long walks to clear my head, and I just let my mind run with an idea.
When everything is clear, I either start writing, or, in some cases, take out my pen and some paper and outline a few things in the old fashioned way (meaning it’s not on the computer). It’s rarely the story line, it’s mostly lists of character names, relationships between them, short descriptions of each, ideas of how to have them interact and so on.
Most times, I stick with the story line I’ve initially came up with. But it also happens that my characters surprise me and they just go their own way. Some other choices seem more natural to take than what I’ve wanted them to do to begin with. It’s a matter of following instincts instead of what I originally came up with, and, as a rule, I trust my gut feelings.
A lot of what I write is based on facts and people I’ve met or read about, situation my friends or myself have had to deal with, ideas I’ve always wanted to explore. I am a big believer in starting with what you know – be it people, feelings, or actions. Then imagination takes the stage and turns it all into a beautiful story.
How does it work for you?