I read, somewhere, sometime, that every book conceived comes into existence somewhere else. Our struggle, as writers, is to bring it into the conscious life that we’re leading.
That’s certainly how it feels when dark writing commencing.
Dark writing happens to me at night, in the dark. Something triggers me awake, and all the writing neurons become energetic kittens, wanting to romp and play.
And they do. They toy with strings of thought, batting and chasing ideas around like they’re balls and toy mice. Then, as they settle, the writer starts reading to me.
Again, that’s how it feels.
It feels like the writer within takes up the book I’m writing in that other existence, and reads it to me. Scenes are read. Dialogue. Reveals. Page after page is turned. I can’t put the book down.
Two hours later, the book is finally closed. The dark writing subsides. I’ve been enriched with writing material. The challenge now goes back to that ongoing struggle, to remember all these words that were read to me, and bring this book into the conscious life that I’m leading.
There is coherency to this writing process, but there’s also chaos. The reveals and scenes thrill me. But then I ask, where does this go? The question prompts the dark writer to transport me a bunch of chapters ahead. Landing there leads to more bewildered questions about all those chapters he jumped over, all the material already written and ordered, and how these reveals fit into the greater cosmos of this novel.
I wish I could more easily capture this dark writing. I suspect each writer has their own version of dark writing, the process of finding the book in their minds, hunting the details, and getting it a form where it can be read. It’s an exciting, but also frustrating, and yet, hopeful, process. I see where I’m at in the novel, and I see what can be. I just need to bridge those two visions. Easy, right?
It’ll be an interesting day of writing like crazy.