The Magical Space
Today I want to talk about the writing process as I see it. From the little I have seen and heard described by other writers, there is no set way that the story, the characters and the rest come to a fiction writer. I have heard about the idea of a writer being blocked. I am either blessed in the fact that I have never felt this (or not important enough to have experienced the problem).
If I had to say where the ideas come from, the seed of the idea, they come from things I see and hear. My trilogies were inspired by something that I identified as a question in a jazz song I liked. But even at the point of hearing the song, it was literally years before the idea came to me to try writing an answer to that question. I have also written a sci-fi under a pen name (Indy Nova II by Jason Stone). The inspiration for that was my love back in those days for Star Trek. In my younger days I wrote the initial manuscript merging the Trek style adventure with the idea of space racing. But it wasn’t until I had completed the Romance trilogy that the idea came to dust off the typed pages, scan them into a document and turn the 200 pages into a full-length novel.
Going back to the Romance trilogy, my first thought had been to create a screenplay. I had experience with scripts from my days in theatre where I had acted and directed. I purchased the proper software to format the script properly. The reason I decided to do the screenplay was that I felt more comfortable with the idea of capturing dialogue than a fully descriptive book. Even with that as a goal, it took me a year writing on the weekends to complete the screenplay. I entered it into a few contests and sent it to several agents with no great result.
Let me stop for a moment to make a point of what I just shared. As a painter I was able to enter judged shows locally. I got ribbons and a couple nicer prizes from honorable mention to Best in Show. What I learned from this is that what the judge determines is solely based on their experience. While there are lots of factors that are considered to be true as far as what makes a good or great piece of art, the final judgement comes to the personal preferences and thoughts of that person. While I was always happy to be recognized, there were times when I walked away empty-handed (though not all that often to be honest). The bottom line is that I always have created to share my gifts with people. I know there may seem to be a little ego shown when I speak about the creative things I have done, it’s not about bragging, but more about where I learned what I know about these things. So, what I would like any creative person who might be reading this to learn is, never let the opinions of others diminish your creative efforts. Believe in yourself, focus on sharing that bright light, and let everything else come as it will.
When the screenplay didn’t get me where I had hoped, I figured it was worth a try to convert the screenplay to a novel. Thus, Hurry Moon was born. (It was a long pregnancy: three long years of learning how to add the descriptive pieces to the existing dialogue. I also realized that the story that can be told in a two-hour movie was not going to fill a full novel, so I had to come up with additional story lines to fill in the gaps. From a business perspective, my hope was that it would be easier to sell a book for less that twenty bucks where my paintings spanned from a few hundred to a few thousand. It did not occur to me that being one of who knows how many authors meant that the challenge would be finding my audience. (And so, here I am, looking for you.)
I would like to talk about what works for me as far as an environment to do the writing. Again, this is from my perspective. I like to go to my local Starbucks and grab my favorite White Mocha, sit in my favorite chair. I listen to the music. The surrounding people and conversations are a comforting backdrop and I am happy to say over the years I have met many people who are more than willing to greet me with a smile. Once I fire up my laptop, I get into what I am doing. Two hours later I will have generated anywhere from five hundred to a couple thousand words, depending on the complexity of the story I am trying to capture. Again, for those of you who might be reading for the pearls of wisdom, my first step suggestion is to determine a couple hours at least once a week in whatever environment makes you as comfortable as possible. If you set a regular time and regular place to start your writing, you will have the best chance to make progress. On the quality front, don’t set huge expectations on yourself. When I speak to budding artists, I always talk about not trying to be Michelangelo from day one. Do the work again and again and find out who you are. The same is true about writing.
And so we return to the advertising pitch of this blog. I am looking to build my email list for future promotions. I still have four more copies that I will be happy to part with for any who are willing to provide an email address and then a mailing one. Beyond that, I will be setting up sales at reduced prices via Amazon once I get a little more response to these blogs. Again, for Amazon, if you look at the book icon on this website, you will see sub icons for each of my books. When you navigate to each one, there is a quick synopsis of the story. Scroll to the bottom and you will see a link that says: “Buy it.” The link will take you to the site to purchase that book.
As before, thanks for your interest. I hope you find it worth your time. Have a great day.