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Creative Rush and Work

There's really two phases to the fiction-writing process for me: the rush, and the work.

The rush is the "ooooh, and then THIS could happen" phase, when every new scene or character or plot twist is so kewl that I need to hammer it out of my brain and onto a notecard or into Word immediately. I write at speed, and often things happen so quickly on the page that I sort of lose track of little things like keeping the reader informed of what's going on, exactly. I find that if I don't capture this part at the time, though, I lose the joy and the happy accidents of character and image that make writing pleasurable, and that make for more compelling reading.

Naturally, this creative rush often happens just as I'm drifting off to sleep. This is mildly annoying, but sometimes you just have to outsmart your own brain. I keep pen and notecards on the nightstand, because otherwise my book won't let me sleep. I scrawl the fragment or keywords that I need, so that I can get the scene or the image right later.

The creative work is, well, the work part of writing. Punching the clock, going to the library, digging through the verbal weeds. It's revisiting the rush text, deciphering my handwriting from the notes, writing a first pass, and smoothing out the lumpy bits.

It's amazing what I miss in my first rush, sometimes. I feed in missing transitions, sensory details, and sometimes basic business/blocking, to share what excited me about the scene. I make one or two work passes over text before I have a creditable rough, or at least something I can show to people without cringing.

Last week, I went through a short creative panic, and stalled out for four days. To get on track again, I picked a couple of my favorite sections of the outline and went for the rush. This week, it's more about buckling down to the work.

Comments

( 1 sutra — Your wisdom )
saycestsay
Apr. 27th, 2005 08:36 pm (UTC)
I appreciate you sharing the details; especially since they're so close to mine! *S* (I'm just slower all the way around.)
( 1 sutra — Your wisdom )

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