Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Automatic

Managed another 2000 words today, it's been a good week so far. I might even pass the half way mark on Friday, which would be a great start to the long weekend.

Now that I'm writing regularly, I'm realising that there isn't necessarily a method to it. Before I began I read one or two creative writing books, thinking that I might learn about some magic process that would help me follow through on my ideas.

The information I gathered was useful to a degree. Having an idea about your characters' motivations and personalities does help, as does having a point to prove.

But once I start writing though, most of my preparation flies out the window. Yeats would talk of automatic writing, where he would place his pen on paper and it would seemingly move by itself. Another analogy is the state of mind people enter while exercising; the body takes over, the mind wanders and time jumps forward.

Every day I start by typing a few self-conscious words, feeling around to get my bearings. On a good day I uncover a seam and it pulls me into the scene, the characters are talking and moving around the stage I've built and I'm just observing now, my hands a blur on the keyboard, ears and eyes straining to catch everything, and when something snaps me out of it I've written pages without even realising it.

This isn't something I learned, or a particular talent I was bestowed; it just evolved from writing everyday.

7 comments:

Julia Buckley said...

That's fantastic, sounds like you're doing really well. Wish I could produce that many words every day - I'd have finished my novel a good long time ago! Keep it up.

alfaking said...

That's nice of you. Don't let anyting block you. Carry on.

Angie said...

Congrats. It sounds like you're really moving along.
I'm lucky if I get in 1000 words these days. I seem to be too conscious of my writing and am not able to find that seam into my story.

hellojed said...

Thanks all. I'm lucky with this story - it is moving along nicely. I got really stuck on my previous story though, will have to attack that when rewriting big time.

Angie, I was definitely self-conscious for a long time. But I try to remind myself that everyone writer's first draft is terrible, and to trust my rewriting ability. Good luck.

Beccy said...

Sounds like you're doing a great job.

Anna! said...

"uncovering a seam" - I like that. A nice image for a writer to strive towards.

I envy you your writing energy and clarity.

Conortje said...

Keep up the good work!