Sunday, July 25, 2010

Even when it isn't, it's always about writing

I've read a few blogs lately that suggest writing blogs can't be about writing forever. There's only so much you can say about writing; readers don't want to hear about the process; it takes away from creating the book about which you're blogging.

I disagree for several reasons. This blog has been invaluable in helping me clarify plot points, characterization or meet deadlines.  I receive plenty of emails about how sharing that process has encouraged readers to keep coming back (think special features on the the DVD) But the main reason I think writers can blog about writing indefinitely is that no matter what we're talking about, it's writing related.

We're writers. Everything in our life is filed away for future use. That doesn't mean that I mentally record every conversation or confidence so that I can plagiarize your life.  I notice the body language that accompanies those confidences. I remember the cadence of your voice.  I notice how weather, colours, food, music and scents evoke certain responses in different people. I listen.

When I'm out walking Ky or doing Casey's exercises, or swimming with the kids or exploring the gorge, my brain sorts through plot ideas.  A perfect day with Stashaholic bred a book.  I've put that project aside but it's interesting how many times a day I think of something to add to the ever expanding notebook I have for that particular book.

Writing takes place in our minds.  We take our consciousness with us everywhere we go throughout our day.  It's an essential requirement for all of our interactions. We can't get away from our own thoughts. Therefore no matter what I discuss on this blog, you can be sure in some way shape or form, it's related to my writing process.

Random posting about friends visiting from out of town - how do my characters interact with their communities? Do they hide from friends and coworkers, preferring to keep to their own company? Why? Are they gregarious, the life of the party, trying to drown out the screams of lonliness?

Random post about Yoda the Quaker Parakeet - do the characters have pets? Do they work with exotic animals? Do they empathize with the caged bird who refuses to come through the open door? Are they afraid to take control of their life?

Little of those thoughts end up spelled out so clearly in my final projects but they are all part of the process. Of course I steal from my own life when possible - Heal, Casey is an excellent case in point - but I also have a wicked imagination.  My brain takes a little bit of this,(a photgraph taken by a friend) mixes it with a dash of that (a lifetime of listening to Scottish mythology), adds a soupcon of spice(the light and shadows in the photograph)  and voila nymphs and demons in a pivotal scene from Hell to Pay.  I grew up believing in nymphs, fairies, little people and magic. It didn't take much for me to extrapolate a story out of all that.

My blog will always be about writing - even when it reads like rambling about the weather (HOT! and HUMID) this summer, a review for BB's Robin Hood or junk drawers


1 comment:

  1. Oh!!! Hey, I was not able to comment on anybody's blog for the longest time because I couldn't see the verifications. I just figured out why. Huh. If you, too, are having trouble with it, click on the little padlock in the upper right corner of this window and select 'view certificates' and then install them.

    Where was I? Topic,right. Okay, you can plaigarize my life if you are really desperate, but it will be a very boring book. Except for the time I helped invade Canada.

    telop - one of those bounding gazelle critters. All this time you thought it was AN telop, and it turns out its A telop. Hah.