Monday, November 16, 2009

Writing a Book is Harder than I thought

All weekend long, the inspiration didn't hit. I sat staring at my computer screen, willing the creativity to flow through my brain, allowing me to write long, stunning passages of prose. Instead, the words were forced and erratic, cumbersome and nonsensical. I thought the story was going one direction, but the characters wouldn't budge. MOVE, I shouted at Arturo and Isabelle, DO SOMETHING. Instead, they laughed in my face, and stayed in place on paper. Sometimes, when the characters refuse to do what you want, you have to take a step back, and analyze where the story is going. I was making them move too fast. Isabelle told me to slow the heck down, no way was she ready to meet Arturo's parents. So I rethought where I was taking the story. When you hear fiction authors being interviewed after they write a book, they will often say the characters guide the story, that their fingers are just the vessel to allow these characters to speak. And when I get into the mindframe of my book, it happens like magic. My fingers fly, struggling to keep up with what the characters are saying. The scenery becomes as vivid as the real world around me, and I write with passion and intensity. Unfortunately, this didn't happen this weekend.

So far, I've written 44,171 words, and that's just a couple hundred more than I had last weekend. I woke up this morning, completely ready to write the scene that was playing in my head last night. The problem? I had 5 minutes to write, then had to catch the ferry to participate in my daily life of work, eating, surfing the Internet, etc. When my mind opens to the creative process, it's like a beam of light that shines straight through me, illuminating the way. I know exactly where I want to take the story, and exactly the way to describe it. One thing about being a writer is that each writer has a unique worldview, and unique way of putting words on paper. I want to tap into that uniqueness, instead of forcing the words to come.

At 155 pages, I believe my book is a little more than halfway done. That will complete a short fiction novel. I don't mind if its short, I just want the story to be complete. I want Isabelle and Arturo to find their way. I want to know how they plan on achieving their goals, what they will say to each other, what experiences they will have. Right now, my two main characters are suspended in time, waiting for their creator to give them life.


andrea said...

I'm just so inspired by this! I'm so glad you're finally doing it!

Abigail Bernd said...

I just can't WAIT to read it!
I am sure it's amazing- you are such a wonderful writer!

Lisa said...

You speak of your writing like it is a divine mission. I truly believe your novel will be wonderful.