The writing process.

Mug of coffee: check. Pillow in the small of my back: check. Old Boy out of the house: check. Wonder Dog fed and sleeping on back of armchair: check. Okay, I’m ready to rock and roll.

I open up the Writing folder in Word documents. I go to the piece I’m currently working on. I read the first three paragraphs and realise I’ve bored myself stupid. I find myself thinking, once again, of the myriad of programs and/or apps I could purchase to assist me in my “craft”. Would having Scribblers Inc in my PC make the writing any less boring? Perhaps not, but it’s handy to have something to blame other than myself.

I’ve got to liven up the prose. Strong verbs are important. “He walked into the lounge room…” Hmm, let’s see: walked, strolled, ambled… That all sounds a bit too casual. I’ll leave it for a bit and come back to it.

Why the lounge room? Why have him go there? Did I walk him there just for something to do, or is there a deep dark purpose that’s essential to the plot? Maybe I should forget the lounge room and keep him sitting in the kitchen? Yeah, that’s the ticket. He’s draining (much better than “drank”) the last dregs  of coffee from his mug… Oh wait – he has to go into the lounge to get the magic book. It’s sitting on the top shelf of the bookcase. Okay we’re back to walking: crept, slunk (slinked? No, I’m sure it’s slunk), slithered… Don’t be ridiculous, he’s not a reptile!

I’ll let my subconscious wrestle with that while I check out publishers and agents. No fantasy, no fantasy, no children’s books, no young adult books, no children’s fantasy, no submissions without an agent… Okay, switching to searching for agents. No fantasy, no children’s, no children’s fantasy, no new clients… Ooh, I found one that’s open to new clients and they do fantasy! Wait a minute, they sound familiar. That’s right, I submitted to them already. Their fantasy reader/editor is no longer with them so they don’t do that genre any more. I guess they haven’t updated their website.

Strode, marched, goose-stepped, stomped: all a bit too aggressive.

Time for another cup of coffee. Sip it while it’s hot and pretend there’s chocolate to go with it. There would have been if  I hadn’t weakened last night, while watching  the football. I’ve got to develop more moral fibre!

Why do I even have to walk him into the lounge room? Couldn’t he just go there? Teleport? That’s a bit over the top, isn’t it? Besides, he hasn’t found the book so he can’t do that stuff. Don’t forget, he doesn’t yet know the book is magical.

I put a load of washing in the machine and wonder what it would be like if the dryer could double up as a time machine. Main problem (taking the invention of time travel for granted): it’d have to be way bigger than that. At the moment only the Wonder Dog could fit in. He keeps trying to climb in as soon as I open the door. Maybe he knows more than he’s telling.

I have it; I’ll just start the story in the lounge room. No need for him to walk anywhere! Delete first two paragraphs. Simple. I’m on a roll! Lunch time.

 

 

11 Comments

  1. Dog Food
    Jul 8, 2013

    what’s up I really like the job you done here.

  2. Ken Rolph
    Jun 20, 2013

    I think you lost your focus. The important thing is the search for the magic book in the lounge room. How anyone gets there is not important. Of course the writer has to imagine the whole scene, but need not report everything to the reader.

    Sometimes the simplest links are the best. Meanwhile, back at the ranch . . .

    • Wendy Noble
      Jun 20, 2013

      You’ve hit the nail on the head, Ken! Sometimes I can be a bit obsessive over minor details. Of course, this was a fictitious tale, serving merely as an example. The trouble is that I’ve begun to wonder just what that book’s about and what might happen when it’s found. I might have to write the story for real!

  3. Wendy Noble
    Jun 16, 2013

    Cheers, Elle! I’ve been through the small-children-in-the-house stage AND the teenagers-in-the-house. I admire you. I didn’t get much done back then. I didn’t believe in myself enough to persevere. The biggest challenge to me as a writer, is to ignore the negativity in my own skull. And, as an editor, I have to say that, yes, guiltily is a word, but it’s an adverb – a dreaded -ly word – so it might be an idea to get rid of it. Remember: strong verbs! (hahahaa)

  4. Howard
    Jun 15, 2013

    For me, a bit of a bush poet, a catchy one line man, or rampant simultaneous thoughts itinerant waffler; I try to work out what I am thinking for a long time. If it arrives at a thought, a very multi complex, yet succinct thought, I write it down~ and that is my creativity at its best.

    I also like creating images in words with people I am relating to. Which is why I like the goons a lot. They used radio to make better AV pictures than Speilberg ever did.

    • Wendy Noble
      Jun 16, 2013

      I liked the Goons because they made me laugh. 🙂 My ideas for a story can be sparked by a picture, an overheard phrase, a tombstone, a scrap of tune… It has to sit and ferment in the subconscious for a while before taking some kind of shape that I can work with. Once the story is on paper, I then work on giving it a better shape and more substance. That’s the hardest part of the job, and that’s the process I was describing in this little piece.

  5. Terry Williams
    Jun 15, 2013

    Wendy you have inspired me. I will sit down and start writing!…I will, I will….first thing tomorrow.

  6. Joan
    Jun 15, 2013

    Hi Wendy,I had a good giggle reading your blog today,I was hoping for some helpful tips so I can start writing two non-fiction books I have had in mind for a few years now,but maybe I just need to start and keep on going excepting all the distractions of life are not going to go away. Thanks xxx

    • Wendy Noble
      Jun 16, 2013

      They NEVER go away, Joan, they just change form. If you’re going to write non-fiction, organise your ideas first. I’d plot a chapter by chapter shape to it, which I’d then vaguely follow. You don’t have to follow the plan slavishly, but it helps to have some sort of guideline to keep you focussed. You can then rearrange chapters etc once you’ve got the main ideas down on paper. Of course the best way to begin is to begin. 🙂

  7. Elle Carter Neal
    Jun 15, 2013

    LOL, Wendy. That sounds very much like my writing process, except I don’t have the luxury of getting anyone out the house first. I’ve had to learn to write with children tearing up and down the passageway followed by the younger hanging off me yelling “No, no, no” while the elder screams at her to “Come back and play. NOW.” (Mate. Seriously. Like she wants to play with someone who yells at her… sheesh. I have no idea where he gets that from *whistles guiltily* )

    Hey, cool: “guiltily” is an actual word! Thanks, Google.

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