I see pictures

Posted: October 27, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’ve often been asked how do you write your stories – do you plan them down to the last detail, or create them intuitively as you go. It’s a bit of both.

Like most writers an idea ‘brews’ for months, sometimes years. It’s a feeling in the pit of the stomach, and something that stays put, not going away until it’s written. I’m not sure what motivates this need to get the story out (birth it some would say), but I suspect it has something to do with wanting to understand an event, an experience or even a deep philosophical question that has been keeping me awake at night…for years even.

I take my odyssey in this life seriously – the quest to journey towards an understanding that enables me to sit comfortably in myself. Expression is always a privilege and I am lucky enough to be able to put words together to create meaning. So that’s the basis of my writing – a deep seated need to understand myself and the world around me.

The other side of the story are the plots, scenes, characters and ‘voices’ that come from my imagination. This is less conscious and, I guess, comes from my subconscious. When I’m writing a story, I let it flow freely. After taking what has been brewing and roughly crafting a plot, I let the rest come naturally, from that dark place I know very little about. That’s the subconscious, the vast reservoir where the feelings, desires, motivations and the imagination dwell. It can be as simple as drawing on a memory of the sweet smell of jasmine as a child, that awakens a thought train hitched to the wagon of a ‘brewing’ story.

I read a quote from that beautiful literary doyen Maya Angelou the other day. She said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have .” I have been writing creatively, reasonably seriously now for two years and I agree with Maya. Rather than be depleted, I’ve found a wellspring of stories just waiting to be told.

Some people climb mountains, others build houses. The passion through which we approach what drives us is about creating meaning. Everyone leaves a legacy. I hope the words on my page will be read, by even a few, and somewhere in my journey another may find a small meaning which helps them sit comfortably within themselves, even for a short time.

And for the record, I have yet another story ‘brewing’ that has begun with a poem:

“He held onto his dream, long after it was over.
His battered, verandah rocker, creaking with memory.
Of the woman he thought he knew.”

Now just where will that thought take me…

I am completing work on my YA trilogy that’s a mix of fantasy, adventure and spirituality. The first two books Shadowscape and Dawn of the Shadowcasters will be available soon.

  1. pulpfictionme says:

    This is beautifully said! Thank you for this post! I started writing after my father passed four years ago. After his death it was discovered I have a half sister, he was having affairs, and far from the man I thought he was. Struggling to understand this new world I was in I started writing. I failed all my writing classes in highschool and beyond. My english teacher told me one day “if you applied yourself to literature the same way you do to soccer you could be great.” I was too busy making jokes to take him seriously.

    Along with writing I started volunteering with hospice and a childrens grief center to better understand my loss. I was writing reflections on everything I was learning. As I was growing I found myself needing to write in order to keep going. I started sending these reflections to my coordinators who wanted to put them in publications and training sessions. It started to dawn on me that I should start taking writing seriously.

    Writing is such a joy. I will never reach my full potential. Always looking for new ways to develop and grow. Finding ways to insert dialogue fluently, building meaningful characters, and creating plots that develop naturally.

    I am doing the write a novel in November event. I am writing on my dad and I going on a great adventure. Living out my fantasy of having him around. I am so excited to spend the month with my dad. If even in my imagination it will still be a joy.

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