Thursday, February 11, 2010


I've discussed before the different disciplines different authors have about writing. Some rigidly write every day for two hours or three, or an entire afternoon. Some, who may be starting out on their writing venture may be satisfied with a page or two. There are several methods to which one supposedly is able to complete a novel in a two or three week period or a month's period or a year's. As I've also said, whatever works for you, fine; if it doesn't, don't be afraid of change.

However, I also want to discuss something every writer feels to one degree or another. That feeling. That urge.

When I don't work out at the gym for a few days because of some change in my erratic schedule, my body feels weaker. When I haven't practiced my taekwondo form for awhile, I feel I've taken a step backwards. When I finally hit the gym or really concentrate on improving my form I feel better. More tired, maybe a bit sorer, but better for having taken the time to work out.

The same goes for writing. There are times in my story, one just recently, when I have to stop and think about what comes next. I'm at a point in Alpha where Mallory meets her next surprise in her latest case. I started writing a couple of days ago, scratched over it, started again only to scratch it out again. Then I decided I wasn't going to accomplish anything substantive that time and I needed to let the next scene sit on the middle burner, figuring itself out. I didn't want to write what I had written all those years ago with the first draft. Now, it's seems silly. But I did feel there was a need for this next scene. A couple of days have passed and the beginnings of the climactic scene near the end are starting to come together and with this next scene, I can start to set up for that final chapter. Now, I have the feeling I can write the scene.

I now WANT to write. When I don't write for awhile, the mind is weaker, it lacks something. The time will come when I feel the urge to write. I've discussed this with critique group members and they understand, so I know it's not just me.

It's passion for the art and craft of writing. Musical artist must feel the same 'something', writers do. That need to write something; whether it will be thrown out later or revised or actually used, remains to be seen. But it's that feeling that you want to write and it's almost irresistible. I've put down good books I've been reading to pick up pen and paper and write for a couple of hours. Or at least until my hand hurts so much I can't write another word.

When you write, you enter that zone and what a marvelous place it is to be. When the words just flow and the scene or the chapter almost writes itself. Then, and this is something that is most wonderful, there's a moment-it may not come very often and the intensity is not always very strong-when what you've written affects you. That's the point when you know you've accomplished something. My friend Mary feels that when she reads or listens to a book. It's almost as if she's personally involved and the characters become real to her.

I experienced that moment with Beta. When writing the scenes with the horrors experienced by the kidnapped girl I became immersed in them. When I stopped writing and reread what was on the page, I paused and thought, “Wow, this is good.” I wasn't having an ego trip; I was feeling for the scene, the characters. When writing about the emotions felt by Mallory, I can feel them along with her. Because if I can feel them, maybe I've written the scene in a way so others can also feel. Every now and then when I'm writing, I wonder, “What would Mary think about this scene?” If it can cause her to jump in surprise or whimper in worry for the character or laugh at the humor, then I know I've accomplished something good.

Sometimes, the writing surprises the author. And that's really good!

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