Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Starting A Project
I'm always fascinated to learn of how other writers begin their projects. I read a post where an author shared that a scene will come to mind and she'll explore it by creating a playlist. Others may just sit for hours before something finally comes to them. Then there are those that see something that sparks the flame of exploration. For me, it starts with that one scene. The scene that you build the rest of the story around. For my current WIP, it started with the idea of serendipity and fate, how chance plays a role in our every day interactions. Then all the other magical stuff came in, because that's just how my mind works. Another story that I find myself drawn to started with the loss of everything, kind of like Job in the Bible. And much like Job, who lost his family and friends, and wealth, what if you were surrounded by those things every day and had no way of getting them back. That constant reminder of what you once had haunting every part of your life, of not being able to escape it. I have many different stories that are on the back burner, and more to come through, but it's that one moment in the book that starts you on the path of discovery. We don't go into a story knowing where it'll lead us, or how it's going to end, it's an adventure of self discovery, not only for the characters but also for the writers. That's what I love about writing, I can explore those 'what ifs' that are constantly bombarding me and realize the true meaning of what is behind that wall of mystery. What works best for me to continue in the discovery is a quiet, darkened space, with the recorded sounds of the ocean waves sliding onto the sandy beaches, bouncing around in the room. For some reason I get my best ideas as I'm about to fall asleep. The recipe is just perfect for inspiration, and I've found that if I'm struggling with a scene, all I have to do is go into my bedroom and just lie there while our sound machine is going, close my eyes and mind off to the chaos of the world, and the scene will begin to unfold and I'll know exactly what to do next. Sometimes I'll replay one scene over and over again, studying every movement of the characters involved, or the landscape of said scene and how the colors change in variation to the mood, and it'll just take over without me knowing what's going to happen next. It's a pretty awesome process, and I love living in my head sometimes because some of those things are so beautiful that you find it difficult to leave and separate yourself. The movie 'Inception' comes to mind. Anyway, I find that I'm kind of rambling on, so I'll go. Some time I'll have to tell you about how my dad came to be friends with Leonardo DiCaprio- true story. For now, I'll just say adios!