I don’t know about you, but when I write, it’s like I’m watching a movie.
This is how it works:
I plot out the big events – in some cases, I name the chapters, or at the very least I jot a note on a plot line. For example, “Twyla joins forces with ….” and so on. Then I know what kind of movement needs to happen. But everything in between? I don’t know what’s going to be until it comes out of my fingertips and onto the screen.
Then, I get writing. I go back over the manuscript weekly, and jot down potential “seeds” that I may not have realized while writing them. Of course, I have a list of pre-planned seeds as well. I read somewhere about seeds – the idea of putting something in place as a way of foreshadowing. There are items and actions that I write without realizing that they are seeds at all, until I check my list and realize that it only makes sense to use them. Otherwise, they’re gone during the revision.
Then, I write. I watch the movie, hardly looking at the words on the screen. It’s almost as if I’m watching the movie happening behind the words. I can see the characters – no, the people. I can smell the environment. I can feel the world around them. I can imagine each camera angle, each slow zoom or sudden pang of dramatic music. It’s all there.
At the same time, it feels like I’m reading. Only, when I read, I rarely have as much fun. Don’t get me wrong – I love to read – but writing is like reading your own “Choose Your Own Ending” story – the kind I would read as a kid, when Goosebumps first released them and I could read the same book for months, there were so many possible endings.
When I reach a fork in the road with writing, I have to decide which way to turn. I sit back and watch the screen – the imaginary one in my brain. Then, I write the path that felt the most natural, the one that made the best movie.
I could blame this all on my bachelor’s degree – Radio & Television Arts (focus on video production) from Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada). Or I could blame it on my fiancee, who loves watching movies almost as much as she loves me (maybe more, who knows?!). I could just blame it on my very visual learning style. In the end, it doesn’t matter. I love my movies, even if they are only in my head (until I sell the manuscript and then it’s optioned for the big screen, that is …).
How do you write?