Monday, August 25, 2008

You learn something new every play...


Where have I been while many of my colleagues have gathered in Melbourne this past weekend? Chained to my desk. Sigh.
Actually, while I’ve missed my annual chance to catch up with wonderful writing friends, I have to say I’ve had a productive few days at the computer. And I’ve learned something about my writing process.
You know… sometimes I can get up early and have a thousand words under my belt before breakfast. Other days I can sit at the computer for eight hours and still only squeeze out a thousand words before tea time. I’ve wondered why I have these differences in output. Is it something I’ve eaten or drunk that’s made the difference? Is it my level of tiredness? Are there problems with the story?
It could be any or all of these things, I guess, but I think the main thing is that some days I don’t really give my imagination a chance.
My best writing days come when I lie in bed and picture the next scene in the book. I see it like a movie in my head. I compose complete sentences and hear lines of dialogue, and this goes on until I reach the point where I practically leap out of bed and run to the computer.
It’s when I don’t have this imaginative playtime first that I run into trouble. Sometimes lying down after lunch will help me to visualise the next section of the book.
In a way I already knew this, but now I think I understand it more fully and I know that if the story’s not happening, it could very well because I haven’t had the privacy to dream. Sometimes there’s nothing I can do about that. But now I understand it better, I might find ways to get around the problem.
And by the way, I’ve discovered a new author and I’m currently glomming her books. I like Jane Green because of the depth of her characterization. By the time I get to the end of her books, I really feel I know the main characters as if they were part of my family. And she writes a lot about living in the country and gardening and cooking and all the things I love.
Check her out!

1 comment:

Nicola Marsh said...

I love Jane Green, Barb.

Have most of her books sitting on my keeper shelf.

I'm glomming Barbara Samuel at the moment. And loving it!