It’s been a crazy few months and a lot of ‘real life’ issues have taken me away from my writing and blog.
Between renovations, preparing to move from one side of Australia to the other, and a todo list that sat in the hundreds, I had very little downtime.
Last Sunday, I finally got on a plane and officially moved from Perth to Brisbane for the foreseeable future. Now I can look forward to nine months off work as I take some extended leave. Plenty of opportunity to get back to writing and blogging and to look after my health. I have a new writing desk with a new view, and although I’m going to miss my old home and my little writing pod, I’m already getting a good vibe about my new writing space.
I think where we sit and write is really important to our creativity. A writer, or any artists for that matter, needs a space they call their own, where they mentally feel ready to submerge themselves in their chosen craft. My cats have already commandeered half my desk, but I’m used to that, and they have become part of the scenery 🙂
It’s going to be another week before I can let them out to play so the best they have is watching through the window. They have already engaged in a bit of territorial wailing with our new neighbors cats… I have some turf wars to look forward to!
I’m going to kick-off my return to blogging with a series of author interviews. Details to follow.
I also have a lovely motivational reading list ready so I’ll be writing reviews as I go.
And of course the usual writerly observations and posts.
Happy reading and writing 🙂
I want to spill ink onto pages that will break your heart, then mop up the careless mess into words that might fix you.
When we write, we do so for a myriad of reasons that can shift depending on our mood, our environment, events that have happened, or even our time in life.
Sometimes, it is just a bone deep desire that we can neither quantify nor explain. Sometimes we write for a broad spectrum of needs, and sometimes for only one.
So, why do we write?
- To express how we feel.
Writing at its most fundamental level, is a expression of our inner-most feelings. It doesn’t matter whether you are writing an extreme horror, or a children’s book. We pour our feelings out onto the pages, and may put ourselves into the mind of a psychopath, a soldier, an abandoned child, or a miss-understood teenager. We use our imagination, or our experience, or both, to live through the eyes of that person for a time.
2. To move people
A writer who can move people is a word magician. As a writer it is our aspiration to make our reader feel. The greatest writers can take readers on a roller-coaster, from the highs of joy or humour, to the lows of the darkest, most desperate, despair.
3. To create
When we write we create, be it another world, or another life, with a rich tapestry of interactions. We can create beauty, and we can create terror. Here we become the master of a universe, an all powerful being with the responsibility of life and death.
I often think that my characters possess minds of their own, and yet they are the by-product of everything I have seen, done, and experienced, whether through my own reality, or the reverie of other’s books.
4. To provoke thought
Perhaps the greatest legacy of a book is its ability to provoke thought. Through writing, we may come to question our own lives, behaviour, or even our society. We may also allow our mind to ramble in a non-judgemental way that seeks simply to understand.
5. To forget or escape
Writing, just like reading, is a mechanism of escape. Perhaps you have had a stressful day, and you need to let those issues rest. Perhaps you simply enjoy the vibrant imaginative world that lets you experience a dark, wondrous, or incredible other life.
6. To remember
Finally, we also write to remember, or perhaps more, so that we do not forget. Maybe it is our childhood, a feeling, a time, or a by-gone era.
When we write, we capture moments that are little snapshots of our inner self, and by doing so they are immortalised forever, or at least until the legacy of their electronic presence or paper fades.
Why do you write?
Worth a chuckle…enjoy!
Whoever created this is a genius, had to share!
Choose your own outcome…
When I was little there was a children’s book I read, and in the book you got to choose what happened next. Such books were not new then, and they are still around now. I saw an adult version of this not very long ago. You know the kind…
Lots of exciting stuff has happened…do you:
- Open the door – go to page 64
- Turn around and walk away – go to page 72
This got me thinking about the writing process, and how, when we write, we sit out of time, as if we are sitting on the edge of countless parallel universes.
Nobody knows the exact way the book will turn out when they start to write. Writers are always talking about the way characters can surprise them, or how the story can twist unexpectedly. Our imaginations, our life journeys, our jobs and the people we spend time with can all impact the words we write on the page.
In what other ways, do we the writer, impact the story?
What if we sit down to write a chapter today, would it be the same chapter if we wrote it tomorrow instead? Would it be close, slightly different, or very different? And if it was different, could it shape the entire rest of the book?
Hence my parallel universe reference.
It’s a little mind blowing to think that if you sit down at your keyboard you may write a scene in a completely different way just because you are feeling particularly happy or particularly sad. And what if the phone rings and interrupts you, and when you come back you have decided that a character needs to die, or fall in love, or something else that you had no inkling of before.
It’s in that moment when you decide to stop writing, when you move away from your keyboard for whatever reason, must a new parallel universe inevitably pop up? Like a deck of cards on endless shuffle, or a kaleidoscope shifting sand, you never know exactly how the dice are going to fall until they do fall, or in writing terms, you sit back down at your computer. And when you do everything has shifted and you sit down to a different place and a different head space.
Every time we write a story, we could have written a million more.
Would those other variations have been better or worse or just different?
Life too, is full of choices and the consequence of those choices impact everything that comes after, so it seems only fair that our fictitious worlds should be subject to the same whims.
We might think that there are a million stories or a million lives we could have lived, but ultimately there is only one story, just as there is only one passage through our life, and that is the one we choose to write.
“You fail only if you stop.”
~ Ray Bradbury
“This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won’t wash them away.”
~ Anne Lamott
“Every human being has hundreds of separate people living under his skin. The talent of a writer is his ability to give them their separate names, identities, personalities, and have them relate to other characters living with him.”
~ Mel Brooks
“Most people carry their demons around with them, buried down deep inside. Writers wrestle their demons to the surface, fling them out onto the page, then call them characters.”
~ C.K. Webb
“The more you leave out, the more you highlight what you leave in.”
“Which of us has not felt that the character we are reading in the printed page is more real than the person standing beside us?”
~ Cornelia Funke
“The writer’s curse is that even in solitude, no matter its duration, he never grows lonely or bored.”
~ Criss Jami,
“Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull.”
~ Rod Serling
“Writing, real writing, should leave a small sweet bruise somewhere on the writer . . . and on the reader.”
~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés
“Blessed are the weird people:
poets, misfits, writers
mystics, painters, troubadours
for they teach us to see the world through different eyes.”
~ Jacob Nordby,
I’m with Bugs Bunny every time. Well, maybe not necessarily the swift part, I’m okay with revenge of all kinds in a book.
And so should every writer be
Building conflict is a natural part of writing. Take every opportunity to drive a little more drama for our heroes and heroines. Explore every option to pile on the pressure, take away safety nets, and keep your readers guessing at motives and intent.
It isn’t always easy to provide surprises, but that doesn’t mean you have to make it easy for the reader. As the saying goes the first draft is you telling yourself the book. Once you know the way the story will play out, walk through again and generously sprinkle red-herrings, weave subterfuge, and turn up the heat.
Yes, we need the balance of the good, the empathetic, and the kind, but they will shine so much brighter if you dump a little darkness on the other end of the scale.
Surprise yourself with just how dastardly you can be.
Cultivate a ‘What if’ mentality.
- What if I pull this leaver?
- What if I break that?
- What if he is lying?
- What if she is telling the truth?
- What if I take away this?
- What if this happens?
- What if this doesn’t happen?
You’re a writer, you need to give your inner bastard some air time.
Be mean. Be cruel. Be utterly wicked.
Think of the worst possible thing that could happen. The thing you would dread. The thing that would make you yell ‘NO’ if it happened to you.
And then do it.
And then do it again.
Happy writing conflict 😈
Lovely new review for Divided Serenity 🙂
I’m really not a sc-fi fan but the imaginative world and interesting characters helped made this book somewhat likeable. I had a little trouble keeping up with the story as I stopped many times in-between. But I’m really more impressed by how the author came up with this elaborate alternative universe. ⭐⭐⭐⭐