Crafting The Story

February 11, 2015

Okay, I’m sure you’ve heard it before.  The author is a strange breed of human, and often has weird quirks or necessities for writing.  I am, admittedly, stranger than most.  Especially when it comes to writing.

I get inspired by any manner of things, and music plays a huge role.  In the before, when I’m plotting in my head or even on paper.  But when I’m actually writing, I need silence except for the white noise of a fan.  The sound of the water in my fish tank is also acceptable.  But nothing else.  Anything else is a distraction for me, and the words end up blocked, unable to make it from my brain to my fingers.

fishI need my chair in a certain position and my computer facing a certain way.  I need to be able to see the tank, because sometimes when I’m stuck I zone out, watch the fish, and things become clearer.  I need my drink on the left; coffee if I’m writing in the morning, tea the rest of the time.

I write better in the evenings, and that may be due in part to having an evil day job that I must report to five days a week.  My brain is conditioned to putting words on the page after work.  But that doesn’t mean that I’m not thinking about my story all the time.

I’m definitely a combination plotter and pantser when it comes to the actual story.  And the plotting happens at the oddest times.  I usually keep a little pad on the side of my desk so I can jot thoughts down when they strike me at work.  I usually write in first person, and only occasionally in third, but always past tense.  Except when I write my notes. Then it’s always third person, present tense.

A good deal of Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds was jotted in those notes during the work day.  Especially after I got the opportunity to expand it. The original version was a complete story, one I was happy with.  But when I had to add more words, I had to think very carefully about what would enhance the story and flesh out what was already there.  I was very conscious of there not being gratuitous scenes.  It took me three days of plotting and planning before I was ready to write additional scenes.

One of those scenes was when Joshua and Will attend the Youth Gala. It was something I’d had the thought of when I was writing the original version, but didn’t make it into the final cut of that draft.  So one day at work, in between doing actual work, I plotted out the scene on my little pad of paper. But when I brought it home and set about writing it into the MS, as my fingers were flying over the keys and I was referring back to my notes, it changed.  Rather than fight where my brain was taking the story, I rolled with it, and it’s now one of my favorite scenes in the entire story.

So time for you to weigh in.  You’ve got until 4:30 PM EST to tell me if you have any weird quirks.  I want to hear ‘em!

6 Responses to “Crafting The Story”

  1. H.B. says:

    I can’t seem to stay still for too long if I’m awake. One part of my body is always moving even when I’m sitting. It’s always bothered my mom.

  2. kbeth650 says:

    Ah a fidgeter huh? I so get that!

  3. Angela says:

    Thanks for sharing this post it’s always nice to read about the author and how he or she is inspired in writing books, or how he or she writes them.

    As for weird quirks i bite not only my nails but the skin/flesh around my fingers and thumb too. It doesn’t look nice and when i’m eating and salt hits my fingers it’s also painfull :(

  4. Waxapplelover says:

    I can’t study in the quiet. I remember going to the university library once, and just ended up looking at everyone and walking around the whole time. I just couldn’t concentrate! I’m sure people thought I had ADHD. In terms of the music, though, for most optimal studying, I either need to listen to something that is without lyrics (like classical music) or something that I wouldn’t necessarily know the lyrics to since it’s not what I normally listen to (like country music.)

  5. kbeth650 says:

    You’re welcome! I like reading about how other authors work too, so I thought I’d share a little bit of my process.

    Biting your nails is an ouchy thing! *sending healing thoughts*

  6. kbeth650 says:

    I listened to a lot of classical while studying myself, so I totally get that Waxapplelover. People thought I was a bit crazy because I was listening to Chopin and Bach while they had the latest song blaring at them. And complete silence drives me batty, but it can’t be distracting, hence the white noise of a fan.

Leave a Reply