Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How I Write

Since work is getting in the way, I figured I'd explain my "writing process" as it were/is/whatever, because it can be rather confusing.

I don't do outlines, I don't do plot lines, I don't do storyboards or planning of any type.  What I do instead is wait.  My wait is usually not long.  I wait for Jess, or Collie, or Merie to skip through my brain raining down "visual pages" of what to write.  So really it's not me writing, it's my characters.  I'd feel bad (as in a mental health issues way) if I didn't have confirmation that this is fairly "normal" for some writers.  I figure it's just the dementia kicking in early (have I mentioned this before?).

Lucky thing for me - at least sometimes - is that my characters are very chatty.  Unlucky thing is that Collie speaks in a mix of English, and Celtic/Tehachapi dialect (as in the Tehachapi tribes of California) and I have to translate or figure it out - there's no dictionary for her language.  Collie only slips into her "native" tongue when she's mad at me, which is often.  And the unlucky part of Merie's story is that she's always making me laugh at inappropriate times (like in the middle of meetings or while grocery shopping - the husband's gotten used to it).  She does this by giving me visuals of God in all her glory shaking the bejesus out of Satan by the roots of his curly blond locks.  Jess is far easier.  She swears horribly, which I kind of admire, and she stomps her foot when she's not getting enough attention, or when Paul pushes her out of the way to demand of me more attention to his storyline coming up in the third book.

In a way, I'm a bit like Jess, but instead of a dead hoard following me around, I have these characters running amok in my head and making my life a circus at times.  I love them all dearly.  Merie is by far the funnest for me to write, Jess is harder giving me both laughter and tears, Collie is most difficult as she's a big environmentalist, something which I am not.  Don't get me wrong, I'm all for protecting our natural resources, but when I want a steak, I'm getting a steak and don't want a lecture with my meal.

The best part I like about Jess, besides the fact that she's really easy to understand, is that she's true to her country roots.  I would have loved to have been raised on a farm, but I got stuck being raised in the busier parts of the US West Coast, where land comes at a premium and my folks were on a pre-WalMart budget.

All-in-all, my characters keep me laughing, and they keep bringing in new characters to bug me, like the Snot Fairy (among others), and Miracle Max.  So, my hope is that in some way I make you laugh a little too when I dump out pages from my head.

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