January 12, 2011

The power of thinking deeply

Doing a lot of thinking about writing this past week. And I think (although I am not sure) that I have discovered a few things about myself as a writer, and about writing in general.

1. I cannot start writing this second draft until I have a clear picture in my mind of the following: the beginning of the story, the end of it (and the general story arc), and the main characters. (I currently know some, but not all of these things.)

2. It takes a lot of time to think about all these things. Specifically, I can't think about writing in the spare five minutes while waiting for my tea at work. Can't think about it walking to work, because walking to work takes less than five minutes. I need at least thirty solid minutes to really sink into a writing thought mode, and ask difficult questions (ex: How does the crown pay for everything? Do they collect taxes? If so, how so?), and write all of that awesome information down. Which means that...

3. I, as a writer, suffer because of the internet. Because of technology, really. If I'm in a room with a computer, I'm thinking about the king's favorite color until -- Wait! What color, exactly, is mauve? And chartreuse? I've never been quite clear on those, either. I should check this, and Google is right there, and it's so easy, and look! Wikipedia! And I should check Twitter too -- you never know when your favorite author will say something amazing like "I GOT MARRIED!".......... Yeah. That's why going on long walks and sitting in restaurants for far longer than they want to have you with only a pen and paper is a very good idea. I recommend it...

4. Because that's the only way I got around to realizing that perhaps this book I'm trying to write? The part where I thought it ended actually happens to be the end of Part One, that's what. (Don't worry, this is not going to turn my book into a gargantuan mess. It was short to begin with.) <-- That's big. Really, really big. It has been bothering me for months, and was only solved last Friday.

And that's the power of deep thinking. Internet, beware. I can (and really should) get stuff done without you. (And so should all of you, my fellow writers.)

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