Inside an Author’s Head
MANY thanks to Cynthia S. for letting me guest blog in her space! When Cynthia threw open the offer, I jumped at it – then panicked. WHAT do I say? After catching my breath, I figure now is an opportunity for me to share with you all what goes on in my mind when I’m writing. Any kind of writing.
My first thought is always how I’m going to say what has to be put into written form in the most word-efficient, grammatically correct, entertaining way possible. Tall order, hm? As is often the case, the answer is, it depends.
Fiction is easy. All I have to do is listen in on a conversation my characters are having, and I’m off and running. When it comes to my novels, two published (Blood Bonds: The Caravan, and Blood Bonds: The Castle) one in pre-pub production (Blood Bonds: The Cavern), two in writing production (Blood Bonds: The Cloister, and Blood Bonds: The Clans), four in pre-writing production (The Back for Blood series), my characters run the show. I just have to apply seat of pants to seat of chair, as William Faulkner said, and the words flow. What works for me is to daily write for five or so hours, or until I reach the point where I’m pushing the words out syllable by syllable, whichever comes first. Yeah, sometimes the characters grab me by the throat and I write until they’re done, which can be a LOT more than five hours. I love it when that happens, but I don’t count on it. Seat of pants to seat of chair every day, remember?
Non-fiction is entirely different. I strongly feel I need to have everything correct, so I write much more slowly. I check my facts and and assertions as I write, to make sure I don’t build my case on a wrong premise. There’s enough imprecision out there without me adding to it. I’m working on a parenting book (Being a Better Parent) at the moment, which is a combination of what worked for me as a mom, and my experiences as a psychotherapist over the last eleven-plus years. The writing is comparatively slow going, but I make sure as much as I can what I write is accurate from the get-go.
Some writers go as fast as they can and correct and edit in a separate step. I have enough OCPD (Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder) so it’s physically painful for me to not fix as I go, so my writing style is go-stop-fix-go. Shudder if you like, but it works for me.
Is this fun? You betcha! Is it profitable? In money, not yet. In satisfaction, YES! Would I do anything else? NO!
I’d love to know what you think of my musings. Contact me through Cynthia, if you like, or check out my Facebook Page: Rosanne Licata Author Page. I’d love to have you visit.