On this page I’ll post short talks about my writing process, inspiration, and my approach to writing in general. As time goes on, that all might change.
There are three scenarios that usually end up inspiring me. One is taking a hot shower. Doesn’t matter what time of day I take the shower, within twenty minutes or less of hot water needling my body, I get ideas. If I brought electronics into the shower, I’d either go broke replacing the gadget or electrocute myself. As yet I haven’t found any easily available underwater writing equipment, so I usually have to rely on my memory and towel-off quickly.
Another source of inspiration is driving. It never fails, especially on errand runs, there’s something about traveling in a car that jogs the heck out of my creative juices. So much so that I do use a voice recording device to capture the odd foray into creative thought. I’ve worked out many plot blocks from driving around the block numerous times.
Lastly there’s dinner. If I’m working on something before dinner and run into a sand bar with it, basically beaching my productive momentum, chowing down usually gets me back in the water. It could be the food, the wine or conversation with my wife, or all the above. Fortunately, I’m only two rooms away from my computer and I can jump up, excuse myself and quickly sketch the idea out before dessert. Bring a pad and pen to the table is strictly verboten.
I smart writer is one who can wrangle one or all of these inspirational scenarios.
Yeah, Blog #2…. real original…. which is the topic for today’s blog. Seems every facet of mainstream media and entertainment is wary if not out and out afraid of originality. They’d rather rehash, sequel, 3D-a-tize, or remake/reboot. It keeps their “bottom line” from going red I guess. But for creators like me, it’s getting damn boring. I approach my writing perspective from three angles. Concept, image, character. I like those three elements to be as fresh as I can make them, as vibrant as I can render them and as memorable. To be sure there are more elements to storytelling, but I focus on those three because they resonate with me. I can compose my fiction and build a strong framework to develop if I include strong entities of concept, image, character. Sure, big budget operations have to look at the financial end of it, creating ‘franchises’ is a spendy thing. But in the process of pursuing profits… they are killing or at least mangling originality, fresh concepts, and memorable forays into new reaches of creative space.
Blog Hunk #3
I always like to learn about other writer’s process of writing. How they go about putting a story together, how they get inspired, how much time they spend writing. Each writer’s process is different from every other writer’s process. My process is very eclectic. I like to “be in the mood” to write, but that doesn’t always happen. Usually when I feel like writing, I the most harried in my daily routines so I have to fight to get to the computer. I usually try to write two or more hours a day, not including emails, blogs, etc. I try to sit down and write every day, although the times of day I write vary. As for putting stories together, it’s a mixed bag. Some stories come fully formed, start to finish. Others start as a rough thumbnail sketch and I let the piece “simmer” for a day or week and come back to it. Some simmer for much longer and then an idea comes to add the necessary elements to finish it. I have some categories of writing/inspiration in my process. I have a file called “ideas” where slivers of stories are entered, at which point some just take off to completion. I have a file called “photo prompts” where I look at photography and just begin to write about pictures. This is where I get settings, plots, and characters from the most. I have another file I call “lucid writing” where I put down in a stream of consciousness anything that pops into my head. Lastly, I am inspired by everything, what I read, what I hear, what I see… and if the impression is strong enough, I try like heck to get it written down. I also try to write when ever I can. Time and responsibility doesn’t always cooperate, but its in the commitment to write, the struggle to create, the battle to keep improving that lets me see progress in my writing.
Blog Hunk #4
Genres. I don’t write in specific commercial genres because I don’t see life, perception and creativity in that way. I know genres are devices to categorize literature and help people to define and find what they like to read. No problem there. But I don’t think or write like that. If one of my stories happens to resemble a specific genre, then it just so happens to. In my perception, the universe doesn’t recognize man’s timeframe reference. I believe the universe and all that happens in it are expressed as moments. Each moment has place and character and event and it plays out within that “moment”. So that’s how I go about writing my stories, I try to grasp moments and observe who and what are included in that moment. The mind is included in those moments as well and I incorporate lots of conceptual, cerebral influences on my moments. That’s a major perspective I use in writing.
Kinda like Mambo Number Five. I’ve digressed already in the first sentence. Like anyone else, my life experience influences the nature/style of my writing. The attention to imagery in my writing comes from my training in Art- rendering what I see. The experience I gained from learning music and playing jazz has helped me with cadence, the flow of my sentences and the abstract of the moment. When I write, I am trying to synthesize and communicate those experiences. Often I find communicating exactly what I’m trying to say difficult, such is the practice of writing. I want to bring out what might be hidden behind real life, a non-fictional account, what’s left unsaid between the lines so to speak. In some cases, I need to leave it unsaid in the writing as well so the reader can relate to the story more intimately. Sometimes it works, sometimes… not. I leave most writing in my journals and files until they become clear to me, if ever, before I publish them to an audience. That doesn’t guarantee that at that point it will be clear to the reader, but that’s the chance both reader and author make and that I think is what makes reading exciting.
Blog Particle #6
I write in bursts. Some days I’ll be able to capture a dozen or more ideas, with sketches, outlines, character-image-concepts. Other days, nada. On the nada days, I’ll edit, rewrite, read aloud, anything connected with writing. Somewhere in all this process is a sense of routine. If you are going to develop a body of work, you HAVE to create a routine for yourself. One part of my process/routine is to put first drafts in what I call a “simmer pot” file. I let them set for days or weeks and periodically revisit them on a rewrite/edit day. I’m amazed at how different a story looks and sounds if I let it set for a while. I don’t keep writing and editing and rewriting continuously until it’s “finished”…. I’m not really sure any artwork or creative endeavor is ever finished. But at some point, if you want to publish something, you have to come to a consensus and conclusion. That’s why I keep the drafts in the simmer pot until I’m ready to do final edits for a book. It’s a progressive/regressive process at best. When I don’t creatively write or edit, I’m out chopping wood and carrying water.
Lucky Hunk #7
I just finished putting up my Youtube channel. On it I read some of my experimental prose and flash fiction. I feel knowing how the author intends the rhythm of the words to be makes it easier for the reader to read the content and understand the subtleties between the lines. Here’s a link:
Reading my writing aloud helps me streamline what I’m trying to say. I find lots of errors when proofing by reading my works aloud. Reading aloud also helps me solve plot weakness and makes me ask questions the characters have to work out or the reader themselves might ask and need answers to. This is all part of the challenge and interest in writing for me. All these little bits and pieces of discovery and introspection help me continue to grow as a writer and keep my writing as fresh and original as it can be.