I have four published books and reams of manuscripts that didn’t make the grade. I’ve lived in many places in the States and around the world including, Viet Nam—as a warrior—, the Marshall Island for two years, Budapest and for the past ten years in Thailand with my wife. We still have a small farm there that I miss very much. We’ve recently moved back to the States to the East coast of Florida. I have a love for the sea and have sailed quite a bit. I used to ride bike—motorcycles—and of late bicycles. No one bothered to tell me bicycles don’t have a motor… Did I mention I love to read—a must for any writer.
Chris has ‘taunted’ me on several occasions to write a post for his fascinating blog. I have enough trouble coming up with subjects for my blog, but I do enjoy writing so…
I want to tell you what it feels like when I’m writing a novel and maybe a bit of the process. I’ve never claimed to be a teacher for others who write. Most have their own style and way of making magic with words—and so it should be.
Before I begin (to write) one of the hundreds of ideas floating in my head moves to the front of the line and refuses to move. I’m sure it’s my muse who’s responsible. I do believe I have a muse because the thought of little ole me writing is scary. I read Steven King has a grumpy old cigar smoking muse that just sits and waits to see what he can do. Me, I have one that is pixie-like. She’s tiny with dragonfly wings and wears a very sheer, taffeta, wispy dress and it’s usually a shade of sherbet. She’s so beautiful I am only allowed to glance at her and only when I write. Nice, right?
I always start with a small idea and one or two characters. The idea can be so dumb it’s funny. My last novel, a thriller, started when I was thinking of what would happen if a character was in a serious situation and has gas, really bad gas. See, I told you some of my ideas are dumb. Then I work out the ‘first ten pages’. I do learn from others.
An idea—very vague—comes to me about where I want to go and I write the first scene. After that I get out of the way and the story unfolds. Nothing and I do mean nothing disturbs me while I write. Drove my wife crazy at first, but once I stop for the day I’m all hers or so she thinks. In the midst of a novel my muse won’t allow me to stray too far—in my mind—but does let me score some points with my wife. It’s so important to have someone who supports you.
When my fingers are flying and I’m deep in the story I always know it is good when I can feel the tiny dragonfly wings caress my ear—what a feeling. If I’m stuck my muse pushes me to just write. She sometimes leads me to write the ending halfway through so the rest with fall into place. When I write the final words of the first draft I feel a stabbing loss or it could be the dread of knowing I must now edit, edit, edit. And then send it off to a real editor who will slap my baby, but make it better.
As I said in the beginning, I’m no teacher—just a writer.
I want to thank Chris for allowing me to come to his great blog and for given me just the right shove. I’ve been in a dark valley of late—in my writing—and it’s nice to see the Sun. You see, I lived for the pervious ten years in Thailand. This last year I’ve moved back to the States and all the goings on have taken their toll on my thoughts. My muse even took a vacation or perhaps she stayed in Thailand. Now I hear the soft sift of her dress and occasionally a whiff of jasmine touches my senses and it makes me smile.
Thanks, Chris, and I thank your loyal readers for their time.
Oh and before I forget I can be found on:
They can be found at: