I often have a very good general idea of what I’m about to write when I sit down to write it. That’s due to process; I typically write in my head before I sit down and visualize the piece. I do this with more than just fiction, but with almost everything that I write.
But, with fiction writing, I notice that sometimes I’ve written so much in my head that I’m a little disappointed with needing to physically write it. I also become a little lost, because, hey, it’s written in my head. Therefore, it already exists in some form.
In those instances when this happens, I drift on the eddies of my thinking and writing, just flowing along. I’m not on a stream of water but a stream of air, a kite on the breeze, wings extended, looking over the terrain. Then, seeing something, it circles back and dives.
I feel like that bird. Circling, the place where I want to begin writing is my target. If I don’t try thinking about it but instead let it return to me yesterday, then it often arrives with a powerful rush. Then, like a kite, I dive in on my target.
So it was today. Four hundred fifty pages are done. Six chapters, six of the first seven chapters of Part III, are being written in parallel. The seventh was written about six weeks ago. As the story comes on more fully realized in my thinking, I jump back into other scenes to correct details, add set-up exposition, or nuance something to foreshadow events. I’d written so much of these six chapters yesterday in my mind, though, because there were there even after I stopped for the day. They stories go on even though I’ve stopped writing. Then, I added and edited later in my head, making mental notes to myself about revisions.
That’s how it happens when I’m writing with the flow. The story is so real that I feel like I can turn and walk through a door and be in the place, or turn on the television and see it, or even pick up the book, open it, and begin reading.
Sometimes I become a little disconcerted with this. Confusion sets in as to whether I already wrote it or someone else wrote it and I’m just remembering their work.
Nevertheless, I love this organic style of writing, jumping back and forth through the stories and novel as it’s all played in my mind. It’s sweetly beautiful and amazing to visualize, hear and known. It’s something that others struggle to do. I’m sure engineers, physicists, mathematicians and software coders do something similar, along with writers, artists and musicians. Others, though, I know from conversations, are awed that it happens, that all these details can be imagined and experienced as real and then put onto something tangible that can be shared with others. It is, as our POTUS would say, a great, great, beautiful thing.
The skill, or ability, didn’t come overnight, though, which amuses me. I’ve worked on this like a batter hitting a fastball, an artist learning how to observe and interpret, a student musician, or physicists and philosophers contemplating existence. I’m always working on it but I fail as a writer to convey the fun and satisfaction of seeing, creating and meeting the challenge of realizing fiction.
Done writing for now. It was a great day of writing like crazy. Now I must go clean the shower.