Writer In Motion: My process
So I looked at the prompt yesterday and I mentioned I had my subconscious thinking on it. I could feel the wheels spinning, but I had no clue what was going to come out. I thought about using a character I already have, maybe combining a storyline with the setting of the prompt. Or maybe I’d go abstract and use the feel, or a message. Maybe the old and rusty, underneath the bright clear sky? I could do something about sea, or abandonment, or ghosts, maybe zombies. Zombie pirates? Sea ghosts? Who knows! I’d made an earlier quip yesterday “My 5 year old has decided today is a great day to be a cannibal”. That would make a great opening sentence, right? Maybe I could tie it in with the ship.
Then I went to sleep. And I woke up with a story. No zombies, no ghosts. Space Cows.
Yeah, I have no idea either!
Oh yeah, and because that’s not crazy enough, let’s write it in 2nd person past tense, because that makes sense.
I’ve never written in 2nd person past tense. I dislike 1st person, and I stick to 3rd person past, either limited or omniscient as a rule.
As you can see, I have no idea what I’m doing when I write. Things just come out. I wrote my draft of 1140 words (yeah, with a cap of 500, I know, I know) in about 30 minutes. I use the term word puke, and it’s accurate.
During the 30 minutes, 2nd person past switched to 1st person past, and then I kept finding myself drifting to 1st person present and correcting my verbiage back to past tense. I may not have caught them all, fair warning. This is an unedited first draft. I haven’t even read over it again yet.
Oh yes, and I have no names. Not even in my head. This thing is weird. Normally, if I get stuck on a name I’ll leave a marker (AAName) and move on, but there’s not even any of that in this thing.
I think back on what I wrote, and I’m just like… where did this come from? What does this say about the mind of the author who wrote it? Perhaps that I’m raging mad? 😂
I wish I had something more helpful to write about my process, but this is really it. I plant myself in a chair or in front of my writing desk (which is a wooden crate on top of the table with a cloth over top, and my laptop sitting on the cloth) and I just… write. I don’t know what’s going to come out, I don’t know what’s going to happen next except for possibly some few plot points. In this case, I sat down intending to write in 2nd person past and a story about a Space Cow being chased by monsters that turn out to be cave people. There was a notion of having to cook meat to get up to the spaceship (cuz Space Cow) and the humans learning to cook from that.
Then, while writing, things evolved and I went with the flow. Would the narrator survive? Maybe not! What details happened? Who knows? I saw the 500 mark approaching and I zoomed right past without waving goodbye because there was no time for pleasantries. I had to keep going. It just sort of flows through me like a conduit. Yes, my writing speed was in the vicinity of 42 wpm, which is pretty normal for me. I have to try to keep up with the next bit of thing my brain has decided on for the plot.
I’m pretty happy with the story. Mostly, I’m incredibly amused. Such a blast to write!
Now the real trick: Editing.
Check out the other Writer In Motion participants!
– Jen Karner http://www.SyllablesandSass.com
– H.M. Braverman http://hmbraverman.com
– J.M. Jinks www.authorjmjinks.com
– Melissa Bergum (will be posting via KJ’s site)
– Thuy Nguyen http://www.tmnstories.com
– Kristen Howe https://kristenswritingendeavors.wordpress.com/
– Kathryn Hewitt https://spinningmyyarns.wordpress.com/
– Sean Willson https://www.seanwillson.com/blog/
– Paulette Wiles http://www.paulettewiles.com
– Talynn Lynn inkinthebook.blogspot.com
– Ellen Mulholland www.ellenmulholland.com
– Steph Whitaker stephwhitaker80.wixsite.com/swhitakerwrites/
– Sheri MacIntyre https://sherimacintyre.wordpress.com
– Susan Burdorf https://writingnotes.home.blog
– Dawn Currie https://dawncurrie.wordpress.com
– Megan Van Dyke http://www.meganrvandyke.com
– Ari Augustine https://bookishvalhalla.com
– Fariha Khayyam http://www.farihakhayyam.com
– M. Dalto https://authormdalto.wordpress.com/blog/
– Sheryl Stein http://www.wrekehavoc.com
– Belinda Grant https://belindagrantwrites.wordpress.com
– Coffee Quills https://coffeequills.com
The amazing editors:
Jeni Chappelle https://www.jenichappelleeditorial.com
Carly Hayward https://booklighteditorial.com
Maria Tureaud https://twitter.com/Maria_Tureaud
Justine Manzano https://www.craftquest.org/