Instead of plots and outlines and structure, my brain splinters and gives me a kaleidoscope of images flashing past so quickly that I can’t grab hold of them but one image at a time; but quickly and surely this happens, and I write down an image and another and another and go from there. All in all, its easier for me to just let my brain do its thing, write the story as it comes, and hope for the best.
I’d always thought about the writing process as just what it was: I sit down; I write; the story comes out. It makes for good fun to write this way, for I simply have a character nudge me (and I may only see that characters eyes, mouth, hair, and I may “hear” a prompt, “This is how it is…”) and off I go. In my way of “seeing and hearing,” traditional stories about family and friends and Place and Belonging arrive—nothing really all that original. The originality is in the cracks and crevices, in the wording perhaps, or between the between. We find ourselves in our writing and our writing finds us–there is the meeting, the sonic boom of crashing together. The “oh!” of surprise at this big bang of creation.
Surely my brain’s way of interpreting my world, in the way it perceives data and love and lives and images and words and thoughts has served me well enough? Or at times has frustrated me. Or left me dizzy with possibilities unseen and unarrived? Or given me gifts? Perhaps there are trade-offs. Perhaps if I saw my world in completes instead of parts, I’d not see things in the way I do, and in not seeing them in the way I do, perhaps I would not have “met” the characters who have come to me in visions of eyes, mouth, and hair. Perhaps I’d be someone else. Then I would not be me. My writing would be someone else’s.
Embrace You. Be true to your writing, to yourself. Write What You Know means much more than what is apparent.
One more week for the book give-a-way! On Friday, I will collect all the “entries” and publish them on this blog. Then I will put up the names of those entires. Everyone will read these beautiful writings placed here and vote on the one that somehow tugs at something visceral – that has them think “oh!” or that makes them laugh or cry or think or that excites them – whatever it is that will cause one to say “That’s the one I choose.”
(google image from fr.fotolia.com)