Sometimes as an author, I suddenly find myself stuck, pen hovering over a blank page (or, in today’s world of technology, fingers hovering over a keyboard, eyes staring at a blank Microsoft Word document page) whilst I wait for inspiration to flow.
Like so many things in life, it’s that all important first step or word that is often the hardest.
What do I want to say?
How do I want to say it?
On what context do I want to position this?
Where is this going to? (a question I ask myself on a daily basis!!!)
I find fiction a little easier than life if I am honest but only because the very first thing I did before I started on my first book was to write out my story’s plan. At least when I get stuck with the finer details I still know in which general direction I’m supposed to be going.
If that doesn’t work then I re-read what I have written so far. At over 100,000 words this can often take quite a long time (good job I can speed read!) but it re-immerses my mind into my story and re-kindles my relationship with my characters, allowing me to get out of this life with all of it’s worries and distractions and back into a world of magic, adventures and heroism.
As I read what I have written previously, my subconscious mind picks up the plot and drags it to the surface of my consciousness, allowing the words to start to flow again.
Often that start is slow and a bit clunky (lots of sentences written, deleted and re-written) but as the distractions of the outside world begin to fade, I find the flow starts to happen again and then the problem is how to keep my fingers going as fast as my imagination!
My story is complex, with twists and turns along the way but I don’t want my reader to be able to see which way the story has twisted until something happens further along the journey of the plot. There comes a point when something will happen that will make my reader say or think “Aha! So that’s why XYZ happened back in Chapter Whatever” or even find themselves driven to go back to that earlier chapter, to find what happened previously and put the two together in order to find understanding as well as a need to keep on turning the pages in order to find out what happens next.
This book is 1 of 6. I have the plot of my final book already outlined in my head and there is a MASSIVE twist to it half way through, one that will make my readers go “OMG! REALLY??? Now what?!”
The tough part is keeping track of all the threads that are woven through my plot so that I can pull them together for my last book without missing any . We all know that a loose thread can be a dangerous thing!
And in writing my book, I see many similarities between my writing process and life itself.
Sometimes it flows, sometimes it gets stuck.
Sometimes I need to check out my plan and sometimes I have to go back over the past in order to get clarity about the future.
There are always hundreds of threads that I have woven into my past – some I have already tied off, others are still tangled and need sorting and many are still loose, waiting for me to weave them into the story of my future life.
I may re-write my plan for my future but the plot that brought me to this point in my life is unchangeable (unlike in my book).
Re-reading my life-story so far may be painful, happy, sad, embarrassing, full of regret or full of gratitude, with moments of confusion and clarity as well as things to be proud of but the loose threads of my future are waiting for me to weave them into the story and the ending I want.
The plot that I write and the threads of my future story that I weave is my choice – I just need to use my imagination wisely and not re-write the mistakes of my past.
And above all I must remember this……..
Anything is possible in a story:-
Until next time…