Monday, April 22, 2013

How I Write

How do you write?

I get this question fairly often.

I'm always tempted to reply with crappy grammar and woeful comma use, but generally I resist.

I am at my best when I write the original draft  longhand with pen in a notebook. Then I edit as I type sometimes later the same day and sometimes a week or so later. Sometimes I type beyond what I hand wrote and I keep going but in truth that blinking cursor always taunts me and seems to constrict free thought. 

As far as how I build a story and characters I begin with a what if. Usually a what if for a single character. For TWISTED ROADS it was ... What if you realized you'd spent your whole life loving the wrong person?

I knew a guy that had done that very thing and frankly it destroyed him though I don't know that he sees it that way to this day. I wanted my character to find some redemption beyond his misguided love but of course it's never easy to admit you've spent a lifetime lying to yourself.

So I start with that what if, but to make a story and the character come alive I have to know all the characters inside and out. To do that I write back story for every character. One or two pages for minor characters. maybe as much as a dozen for point of view or major characters.

These are not complete stories but vignettes of emotionally charged events from their early childhood on up to when the story starts. Once I know how they will react to being mad, sad, happy, horny ... they are pretty easy to write in most situations.

Building secondary plots and having all them them relate in some small way is a challenge for me. I tend to be a character driven writer and my plots can get lost because of that. Editors often want me to be less subtle and more flamboyant and direct. I have to work to add the necessary layers and emphasis.

Sometimes they mean not how do I write, but how do I find the time to write with a family and job? I steal it here and ther and in bits. This adds to why I hand write. I can't always sneak off to the computer though I try to get some time in at the computer every night when the kids have gone to bed.

There it is. How I write.


17 comments:

Old Kitty said...

It's always brilliant to read that the art of taking a good ol pen to paper is alive and kicking!

I totally flounder with secondary plotting! LOL!!

All the best with Twisted Roads! Take care
x

Daisy said...

This was interesting to read. I used to write long hand first all the time and then later put it on the computer, but I can't seem to do that anymore. I have to do it all at the keyboard now. That does limit where and when I can write, but writing long hand just doesn't work for me anymore.

Phats said...

I have an admiration for people who write I think that would be hard

Karin Huddleston said...

I write the same way. Love the feeling of writing it out. At computer I cant seem to turn off the editor in me. I also do a lot of timed writing for specific scenes so the editor doesn't have time to come in. Sometimes I have to do a timed writing multiple times for a single scene.

Great post. So glad you're blogging again. :)

the walking man said...

I think your answer is too long.

How do you write?

With the first word.

Anonymous said...

I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up!
I'll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later on. Many thanks

My weblog full report

savannah said...

there is something about the physical act of hand to pen to paper that is so satisfying and creatively rewarding. i just get a letter or note to someone, but you, sugar, write BOOKS! xoxoxo

Charles Gramlich said...

I write by hand very rarely. I do a fair amount of "mind" writing before I set at the computer, but I much prefer typing over handwriting.

G. B. Miller said...

I actually do a lot of hand writing, both for my blog and my books. I've always enjoyed writing by hand, most for the last reason that you state. Easiest way to stay busy w/o getting into trouble.

But it has accelerated in the past few years due to the fact that I have a neuro-muscular disease that has settled in my hands that has dropped my dexterity down to what a two year old has.

So I write by hand, then dictate to the computer via Dragon software.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you so much, However I am encountering difficulties with your RSS.
I don't know the reason why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody else getting similar RSS issues? Anyone who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

Feel free to surf to my web-site click reference

Vesper said...

I find it's always very interesting to read about other writers' ways... I love writing long hand and it's useful under many circumstances although I don't have the patience to write the whole story long hand. I love notebooks and pencils...

Anonymous said...

I was excited to find this website. I want to to thank you
for your time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated every little bit of it and
i also have you book-marked to check out new stuff on your website.


Here is my web page :: yellow lab and golden retriever mix

Anonymous said...

I love reading a post that will make people think.
Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!

Feel free to surf to my blog; Click Reference

Anonymous said...

Everyone loves it when folks come together and share thoughts.
Great website, stick with it!

Feel free to visit my webpage - lab and golden retriever mix

Anonymous said...

This is why none of us is talking about swimwear and as a result exactly what one ought to accomplish this afternoon. [url=http://high-waisted-swimwear.webnode.com/]freya swimwear[/url] What the professionals aren't explaining on the subject off swimwear and in what way it is relevant to you actually. [url=http://discount-swimwear.webnode.com/]ladies swimwear[/url] Here is how to discover every little thing there is to understand related to swimwear in Four easy steps. [url=http://modest-swimwear8.webnode.com/]women swimwear[/url] The latest publishing uncovers the low down around swimwear in addition to the reasons you have got to take action immediately. [url=http://blanca-swimwear.webnode.com/]womens swimwear[/url] The ways to master everything that there is to find out about swimwear in 5 basic steps. [url=http://girls-swimwear0.webnode.com/]girls swimwear[/url]
What professionals usually aren't declaring in regards to swimwear and the way that it has impact on you actually. [url=http://string-bikini.webnode.com/]string bikini[/url] What the researchers are generally not revealing over swimwear and the way that it has an effect on you. [url=http://mini-bikini.webnode.com/]thong bikini[/url] Whoa, awesome solution. Your organization have to have a look at swimwear straight away when it's still in stock : ) [url=http://swimwear-bikinis.webnode.com/]sheer bikini[/url] Most of your swimwear-competitors Does not Want You To Learn From The following [url=http://women-bikinis.webnode.com/]women swimwear[/url] The thing Each person Need To Know About The swimwear Marketing [url=http://plus-size-swimwear3.webnode.com/]women swimwear[/url]

Anonymous said...

Precisely why noone is speaking of swimwear and precisely what you ought to implement right away. [url=http://high-waisted-swimwear.webnode.com/]high waisted swimwear[/url] Whatever the professionals generally are not reporting on the subject of swimwear and the way it has impact on you. [url=http://discount-swimwear.webnode.com/]ladies swimwear[/url] A way to fully understand all things there is to understand surrounding swimwear in Seven easy ways. [url=http://modest-swimwear8.webnode.com/]designer swimwear[/url] Brand-new review exposes the low down on swimwear and moreover reasons why should take action as we speak. [url=http://blanca-swimwear.webnode.com/]blanca swimwear[/url] A way to find out every aspect there is to find relating to swimwear in Two basic steps. [url=http://girls-swimwear0.webnode.com/]girls swimwear[/url]
What the advisors will never be alleging surrounding swimwear plus the way this has impact on you actually. [url=http://string-bikini.webnode.com/]mini bikini[/url] Whatever the gurus normally are not implying regarding swimwear and in what ways this affects you. [url=http://mini-bikini.webnode.com/]thong bikini[/url] Whoa, astounding item. Your corporation have to go look at swimwear straight away whilst it is still available for sale ! ! ! [url=http://swimwear-bikinis.webnode.com/]bikinis[/url] Your current swimwear-rivals Does not Want You To Study This method [url=http://women-bikinis.webnode.com/]cheaper swimwear[/url] Things Every body Ought To Know About swimwear Online business [url=http://plus-size-swimwear3.webnode.com/]plus size swimwear[/url]

Poetryman said...

I prefer beer, bacon and bikinis but to each his own.