03 October 2011

Where and How do I Write? (Originally Published July 8, 2011)

For a long time, I believed that every writer should find a quiet place to write and lock themselves away so they can truly concentrate on their craft, but now I see differently. As I began writing (truly writing) I realized that I didn't need a quiet hole to shack up in, on the contrary, I prefer loud talking and/or noise.

For example, during my younger years I lived in a modest two bedroom apartment with my mother and there was not necessarily any extra space to call my writing hole. So to fix this, I would go inside a closet (or sit in the tub) and make sure no noise could reach me. During those times of frustration, I could not think of one word to write. It reminded me of the movie Dead Silence where the ventriloquist would kill you if you made one sound.

I grew to fear the silence because it crippled me in the writing department. From then on, I write in noisy areas. It helps me concentrate. It also gives me a world of possibilities to create dialogue, characters, and the  personalities that differentiate them from those in this human plane.


As far as how I write...I try to write a chapter a day. I know what you're thinking, that sounds utterly ridiculous, but it's true. No matter how crappy/good/absurd/outstanding it turns out, I make sure I write at least one.

I try to dedicate one month to writing it, another month (and a half for those crappy chapters) to editing the first draft, another three weeks for the second draft to be re written, and have another go at editing that to make sure there are no grammatical errors or anything like that. Finally, after I have polished off my third draft, I deem it ready for others to read. (I also let people read it when it's still in the early phases, just to make sure my vision is going the way I planned).

A chapter a day keeps the doctor away.

I didn't include this in the title, but I'd also like to add when I write. On a good day, I try to get up at the crack of dawn, crank up the trusty Mac and....no, that was a joke. I write whenever the mood strikes me. I can't force it, if I do the chapter is crappier than crappy. (make sense?)

I can't lie however, I do sit around eagerly awaiting for the master idea to hit me. It might come from a word, a picture, a movie, etc.

During my writer's block a couple of weeks ago, I was absolutely frustrated with one of my friends (he's a character but would hate for me to call him imaginary) Aiden. (You'll hear about him a lot) No matter how hard I tried to perfect his voice, it just wouldn't happen. I guess because I've never had a visual on him. There was never anyone that I thought looked enough like him to pass as his human side.

But then I browsed the net, just out of curiosity, and right there in the midst of google images, I found him.

My Aiden.

He was there before my eyes and I was too shocked to do anything else but say over and over, "I found you." (that sounds a bit creepy to me too.) I dissected every little thing about this guy and there wasn't anything off. He is Aiden. It made me so happy that I started writing. I don't remember exactly how much I got done, but I really made a break through. If you'd like to read a further in depth version of my struggles with Aiden, click here)

So I guess that about sums it up. I hope this wasn't too lengthy for you. Thanks for reading.


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