Thursday, February 11, 2016

Tools and Process

A question that keeps getting lobbed at me looks something like this:
"What's your process?  How do you actually write?"
Yeah, that's not as easy a question as you'd think.
You see, a lot of what I'm doing when I'm working is trying to get a small portion of the bigger picture into focus.  Whether it's outlining a novel or drafting a scene, I'm honing in on a tiny part of the grand vision in my skull and trying to grab hold of it.
This is why I love this noise-reduction headphones I've been wearing lately.  My assaulting my ears and shutting off the rest of the world, I can let my brain go deep into the mode it needs to be to in to be able to focus on the work.  It's almost like putting myself into a trance.  Heck, sometimes I put the same song on repeat, let it just drone over and over in my skull so the creative things have nowhere else to go.
And as much as I love my laptop and writing on Scrivener-- yeah, I'm a Scrivener writer. Nothing else matches the hopscotch way my brain works.  I'll be working on some scene and then a different thing for a different project comes up, or the bit I'm writing has ramifications that should be foreshadowed earlier, and I can just click on the other thing, make a note or a change, and come back.
I lost my train of thought there.  I was talking about despite loving Scrivener-- sometimes I need the tactile.  I need to spread out papers, images and notes over a wide surface, and physically hash out the story.  Especially in the outline phase.  I had to do when I re-broke the outline for Imposters of Aventil, as it became that my original outline didn't match how things actually ended in The Alchemy of Chaos.  I already know I'm going to have to do the same for A Parliament of Bodies, as well as everything in Maradaine beyond that point.  I know I'm going to have to break out all the giant paper in the garage and do some large-scale work to figure it all out.
And there is a lot to figure out.  I'm very excited about what's coming next.

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