I’m often asked a series of questions that revolve around my muse and how my prose poems and books come into being. So far, I’ve covered the muse that speaks to me and my overall inspiration. I’ll continue, over the course of the next few weeks, to shed some light on them in hopes that you’ll see a little deeper into who I am and all that I do.
If you find that the question of the week stirs your mind, feel free to comment with your own thoughts, or answer it for yourself. If you do the latter, be sure to link back to me so I can see it.
What’s the creative process look like when you sit down to write a new story, book, or poem?
When I write a poem, I try to hone in on some kind of focus. Be it a topic, a photo, or even a song. Something I can use as a spring board to get me started. When my mind shifts focus and starts forming words, I know I’ve found what I need. From there, I move quickly, dictating on paper or on screen everything that comes to mind.
Then, once it’s out, I reread it, analyze its structure, edit and adjust. Perfecting it until it’s finished. Bringing out any themes, metaphors, or the like, as much as possible (within reason of course). Sometimes this process takes minutes, sometimes days. When I feel like it’s polished and speaks to my muse accordingly, I know it’s finished.
Fiction is much different. Whether it’s a short story or a full-length novel. I was a pantser before, which means I would make up the story as I went along. Most of the time, however, I would get stuck or lose track of where I wanted to go with the tale as it progressed. Now, I plan and plot. While some things may change as I move along, I know the story and the characters first, and then I write it with far less difficulty.
Because my mind plays it out like a movie, I consider it my job to translate it into words. To keep my novels from overwhelming me, I divide everything into scenes, with each one as its own, separate document. This way, it feels like every scene is just writing a new short story each time. When the whole book is finished, I create a new file for all the scenes together before beginning the editing process.
No matter what I’m writing, good music is key. Consider it like the musical accompaniment to a movie. The emotions are brought out that much more with the tone of the music. So, if I’m writing something sad, I need sad music. Listening to something that feels like peppy rainbows and sunshine when I want dark and gloomy doesn’t work.
I find that when I feel the emotional connection, my writing will hopefully convey it with better effect to the reader. For me, at least, it feels more potent than if I’m working in silence or listening to the wrong type of song.
Until next time,
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