Did you ever ask yourself how words appear on paper to form the story that you read? How ideas are expresses? How the plot is generated?
Well…. from fellow authors I find that the creative process varies. Some authors insist on a well thought out plan, a clear headline which they can follow chapter by chapter towards the desired conclusion. Others report that they need less planning and that, when inspired, they charge forward and throw themselves more spontaneously into the story line. Some, I am told, dash ahead toward the completion, then go back to review, edit, and polish the entire manuscript. Others go constantly back to rewrite, hone and perfect each paragraph as they go.
Personally, when I start writing, I have only a very vague idea about how the plot will evolve. Strangely, while I never have an all planned out plot, I usually do have one very clearly defined idea of a particular scene. In this specific scene, the main intrigue of the novel is revealed, the highpoint of the novel is presented. It invites a description of events leading to it, and it drives the events which follow.
Other scenes in my novels are not usually planned. They just come into being as I write. Strangely, I sometimes actually find myself surprised by a sudden turn of events, as if I were not really the one to generate it. “Interesting,” I say to myself, as if I am the reader rather than the writer.
What is exciting about writing, is the permission to bring into life situations and events that were not in existence a minute before I put them there. It feels as if I am telling myself a story to entertain myself, and I have the total freedom to go with it wherever I want.
But, freedom aside, I must confess that I am a rather compulsive reviewer. I must admit that I tend to go back excessively, change and rephrase multiple times as I go. Because, while I know that I will have my manuscript professionally edited, I also need the text to “sound pretty” and flow harmoniously in a certain “cadence.”
So… Sometimes the keyboard is pulling me to write for hours. Ideas come. My fingers click. My characters come to life, their interactions become intriguing. Other times, I cannot make myself approach my desk. Ideas die as soon as they pop into my head. The characters are silent. Very little occurs to enhance any interchange.
When creative, I feel alive. I feel part of the plot. When stuck, I feel detached and lost. All said, writing is a complex process. It is curiously both exhilarating and laborious.