Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Entering the World

No, I'm not talking about birth. I'm talking about writing. The cool thing about writing is that you create your own world. It doesn't matter if you're writing science fiction, fantasy, contemporary, historical; the world of the novel is yours even if you base it in reality. You have to know your world to write the story. I lose myself in the world of the story. I sometimes have to remember that the reader doesn't necessarily care about the color of the wallpaper in the bathroom even if I can see it vividly. I have to let the reader do some of the work, to get invested in the story and use his or her own imagination to fill in the images.

The same thing happens to me when I read. I can see the story from the words. They won't be the same images that the author had when he or she wrote the story, but that doesn't matter. Reading is a active thing and requires participation from the reader. At least a good book will require participation. That's one of the reasons I don't like movies made from books (although if Hollywood wants to film one of my novels, I'm all for it). The images and actors just don't match the picture in my head. Not that some movies from books aren't great. Some are; but I can think of only two movies from books that I liked better viewing than reading. One was Seabiscuit; the other was The DaVinci Code.


Books I'm reading now:
The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley
True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson
The Third Circle by Amanda Quick
Nerds Like it Hot by Vicki Lewis Thompson
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Magic

When I'm writing, I always doubt that I can fill one page much less the thirteen through twenty that constitute a chapter. Even when I know what's going to happen, I doubt that the pages will be enough, especially since I am a short writer to begin with (And that has nothing to do with height). And then I start writing. Basically I'm just describing the pictures in my head and transcribing the dialogue I hear there. Not that it's a smooth and easy process. Sometimes the "film" breaks, or the projectionist takes a break, or the film is fed into the machine (Yes, this is old fashioned stuff here--no DVD's) wrong so the film isn't clear or runs ratchety. But the chapter grows and I am always amazed by how much I get on paper. Soon I worry that I'm going to overrun the chapter by five or six pages, because there's always so much more to tell. But eventually it always works out and my chapter is complete and the right length.

I call this the Magic. The story keeps playing in my head and all I have to do is get it on paper. Or computer if we're trying to modernize the process here.

Books I'm reading now:
The Big Bad Wolf by James Patterson
Fast and Loose by Elizabeth Bevarly

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Interruptions and the Real World

The worst thing about being a writer is when your characters are waiting to jump on the page, the plot is wanting to pour out of you, and you can't sit down at the computer. The real world intrudes. The dishes need to be done. Toilets must be scrubbed, laundry has piled up to its limit, the floor can't be walked on without boots, and more. OK, not to be gross, but my house needed attention. And worse, my day job requires me to work at home this weekend. I have tests to correct. The Real World is a drag when my fantasy one is calling.

But at least the story is there and the magic exists. What a great feeling.

Books I'm reading now:
All of Me by Lori Wilde
Rewriting Monday by Jodi Thomas