I wish I knew “how” I write. I’ve had people ask me that question, and I have given them an answer but that answer has never satisfied me. I’ve never taken a writing class, I am a “self-taught” fiction writer, if there is such a thing. I know I have always been fascinated by words – and the power that words can portray. I’m not talking about battles and fighting and wars and aggression. WORDS, in themselves have power. Words are like a gem you might find in a barrel of stones. Words have the power to convey an image, or recall an incident, in the mind of the reader. They can draw the reader in, make them a part of the story.
When I was a teen I wrote maudlin little pieces that never saw the light of day. I know it took me a long time to learn to “show” instead of “tell” which is absolutely the most important skill a writer can develop. So, how do I write?
Sometimes I write rough drafts of the first and last chapters of a novel, because I know how I want the, yet to be developed, plot to flow. And then I fill in the rest. Sometimes I write whatever comes to me that day, which may have no significance to what I have already written. I do know that when I become involved with a novel, no matter what else I may be doing, it is always simmering in my mnd. My wife or few friends might think I am distracted or remote. But it is difficult to have characters running around in your head, while trying to discuss the sorry state of our nation at the same time.
I do think that whatever I write has been “stewing” in there for a long time, maybe years, before it becomes an obsession to get it on paper. So how do I write?
I say I would like to know the answer because it might make the next piece of work easier. On the other hand, if I knew, I might lose the natural ability to do what I do. No matter which way I do it. Yep, no question – life IS a bitch.