Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Writing Habits

When I began developing my new-but-as-yet-unnamed trilogy last November, I wasn't sure it would go beyond the planning stage even after I created a general outline. The premise of the story is based on a dream I've frequently experienced over the last few years, which has rarely varied in its appearance.  While I don't entertain every story idea that pops into my head, I try to keep track of random thoughts just in case they grow larger in substance from my jotted post-it notes and scribbles on the back of envelopes.

"Book One" in the new trilogy is nearing the halfway mark, so I hope to have a completed first draft before summertime. As is my habit, I handwrite at night (on quadrille paper) and then input my notes during the day. I'm not a natural typist, so I find my quirky writing habits the easiest way in which to manage content.  In addition, typing from my notes sometimes gives me new ideas for the story as I go or makes obvious necessary cuts (ouch!) that need to be made. There must be a method to my madness, because the specific writing process has always worked quite well for me.

Another strange habit of mine is to create characters which seem to have no place in the storyline at first, but as my writing progresses their function suddenly becomes very clear. It's as if their purpose is settled into the back of my brain for a reason, which only becomes evident as I move the story along. I know it sounds odd, but creative epiphanies have always happened that way for me whether it's for character development or storyline details.

I'm not normally a big fan of science fiction or supernatural genres as a whole, but my new trilogy does contain elements of the unknown. They are not necessarily other-worldly in the sense of their appearance, yet they are part of the main character's oft-had dreams that insinuate themselves into the first storyline. Her experiences have a domino effect, which flow over into the second and third books in the trilogy.

I realize I'm being a tad vague about the new trilogy, but I'm not ready to reveal too much just yet – at least not before I finish the first story. As I said before, the books will not be as lengthy as the novels found in the Collective Obsessions Saga. The trilogy titles will probably run 200-300 pages per book, which is definitely short-fiction to me.

Time will tell. As with all fiction works, it's not over until the final manuscript gets a seal of approval. Anything can happen from now until then…

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