There. Attention grabbed. Sorry about that, but I’m going to use every dirty trick in the book to make myself amused.
Anyway, here’s the real subject of today’s inaugural blog: the writing process. Not the writing process in general because I’m still not quite sure how it works for everyone else. This is how it works for me.
Usually I get a flash of inspiration, not from any floaty muse lady but usually from the depths of the fiddly bits I call a brain. I’ll get a word, a phrase, a sentence, a name, a gigantic, angry hippopotamus that’ll reverberate through my skull like normal people get songs stuck in their heads. If I don’t get pen to paper or finger to keyboard then it disappears into the mists sometimes to rear its ugly head again, but most often to die in some waste where discarded ideas go.
So that sounds all fine and dandy. Someone in the crowd raises a hand and after studiously ignoring them and swiveling my chair a bit, I finally call on them.
“Yes, you over there. Mr. overeager and imaginary person.”
“But, sir, Captain, how can you let the ideas go away? Don’t you just want to hug them and cuddle with them and love them forever?”
I flash a grimace, making a mental note to call in my imaginary security guards to deal with this imaginary yahoo. I’ve decided not to answer out loud for the sake of not writing any more dialogue because, well, I said so.
The problem with these ideas and flashes of inspiration is that they do not always come at opportune times. In fact, most often I get them while driving or at the gym or some other place that does not involve a keyboard. I have to replay the stuff over and over in my head like a broken metronome (or a working metronome because I really have no idea how those things work, it just sounded like a cool thing to say) in the hopes that I will retain some inkling of what I wanted to say.
Take for example the latest project I embarked upon yesterday. I was driving home from Barnes and Noble and a phrase popped into my head.
Oh no! Here come more quotation mark, dialogue thingies.
“After a lifetime of debauchery it was finally time to grow up.”
You can imagine the scene as I’m driving the ten minutes through the dingy darkness of a Washington night. Me singing tunelessly to some horrible song that exists solely to annoy people, when all of a sudden, this little phrase came calling.
I sat for a second before thinking to myself, “Hey, that’s quite good that is.” (Evidently I think in British).
So I rushed home and hurriedly unlock the door (not an unusual occurrence because it’s scary and dark and foresty where I live). I burst into my living room and triumphantly struck a pose with laptop in hand.
Luckily I never lost sight of that little phrase and from there I built a world with names, faces, motivations, ideals and whatnot.
That, Ladies and Gentlemen, is my writing process. Now applaud and go away so I can get back to doing whatever it is I do on a daily basis.