Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Watcha say Wednesday: How do you write?

Paris Nest Card by bellaseradesigns

While writing this, I’m sitting in the quaintest, little restaurant/coffee house. The music playing is from, I’m guessing, the thirties or forties—reminiscent of Judy Garland. The room is a calm hue of beiges and tiffany blue with simple feminine décor. The never-ending cup of gourmet coffee still too warm to drink, sitting on the table in front of me, the flavor of which they rotate daily.

I would live here if it was an option. Mmmm, maybe this is my heaven. But I’m only able to come here once every two months or so, when I finally break down and take a sanity personal day.

My normal writing location is anywhere/ anytime that I can find: my couch, a desk, my bed, my car (92.8% of the time when it is not moving. Don’t judge me.) I scribble down my first drafts in a notebook while listening to the gentle whispers of my muse. In fact, the only consistency in my writing is the notebook.

I hand-write my initial ramblings. I find it far less intimidating than the blinking cursor. In addition, when I type out what I’ve written—I’m able to revise slightly, playing with wording. I enjoy the game of guessing how many words I’ve written.

That’s me. But what about you? For today’s Whatcha Say Wednesday – tell me…

Do you hand write drafts, or do you type them? Do you have a set place you write, or anywhere you can? Do you need silence to conjure your muse, or do you need background noise? Do you revise as you go, or do you tackle that at another time, once the story is complete?

Answer what speaks to you, and ignore the rest. But do tell—I’m quite curious.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Choose Your Own Adventure

Sometimes writing can be a lot like reading a “choose your own adventure” book. Do you guys remember those? Do they even still exist?
When your character is faced with a decision, the choice that she makes will drive the direction of the book. But what happens when that choice leads you down a path that you didn’t really want to go or worse, much, much, worse, a brick wall.
Well, I’ll admit when I used to read those “choose your own adventure” books, I’d cheat. If I led the MC down a path that leads them to death—I would back up to the point of failure and go a different route.
I’m having a similar problem with the MC in my YA. Let’s face it, teenagers don’t always make the best decisions, and Poe is no exception. Of course, she needs to make poor choices along her road to growth or well, what’s the point of writing about it. But I am having to play around with the outcome.
Another area is a supporting character, Quinn. He has a bad boy streak, but deciding how much of a bad boy—that’s difficult. Is he playing her, or does he really care? His motives will drive the story and can determine how the whole book plays out.
So, I take a note from the “choose your own adventure” books. I take one path, write it, and then back up and choose another direction and write it that way. Now, I’m not writing full scenes, but I am plotting and planning. Exploring the cause and effect in an outline/free writing type fashion.
This little problem is new for me. With Iron Thirst, I knew how it would end, so it was much easier for me to get there. But with this novel, I have no idea how it will end. This is the most linear that I have ever written. But I’m working my way through it.
So, what are some tips you use when you hit a dead end? Do you know the ending of your book early in the process, or is it normally a surprise to you?