Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Second Thoughts

Some time ago I posed a question in The Act of Writing about what happens when I sit down to write and what possible utility (as in rewards) it produced.  My conclusion at that time was that the mysterious act of writing is probably its own reward.*

But the underlying question remains about what happens when I sit down to write? What strange alchemy transforms a rather dull reader into the producer of stories. My first thought is that it might be physically related.  I learned touch typing on an ancient Underwood in high school and to this day find it a physical pleasure to feel my fingers move the keys as the letters march, character by character, across the screen. Occasionally, when I drop into the fugue state that summons my muse, my sense of time and place disappears and my fingers begin to move independently of my conscious mind. My muse, being a fickle bitch, does not let this happen too frequently and my fingers and brain more often than not need to be coaxed into action to do the slogging hard drudgery of piling word on word.

Regardless of how I invoke the muse I still question from what source and by what processes do I dredge images, characters, settings, and actions that fill the pages of my stories? More importantly, what sparks these into being to such a degree that I am impelled to place strings of words on a page? I am barely conscious of the construction under weigh, aside from deciding what logically follows something, much like putting down a course of bricks to build a house, a barn, or a fence. Is there an architect inside my brain that dictates the design and keeps the stories from being completely chaotic**?

Sometimes the story takes form slowly, from a messy first draft through successive edits until, finally, a half-decent story emerges. There's little magic involved in moving scenes about, changing a bit of dialogue here, adjusting a description there, nip and tuck, polishing and highlighting until the bloody thing "looks right."

Which is an idea for another blog.

* although I must honestly admit that selling something written is slightly more rewarding.

** an accusation that has been made on more than one occasion after the story has been published.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading my blog!