Ah…silly me. I don’t have to work tonight after all. So, I’m once again headed up to Eureka. Last night I got my self analysis paper back (100%) – describing my writing process. In case I forget what that process is or that I even have one…I’ll post it up for easy reference:
This year I find myself more and more in the depths of a writing process I’ve called the Mad Scientist Theory. It is a rarer and rarer thing to find me typing out a story all in one go – to just sit down, start at the beginning and press on. Instead, I take a more stitch-by-numbers approach.
In the course of the day, I may (in my journal) record various, random thoughts, observations, interesting facts, bits of eavesdropping, or notes on some current story I’m working on. Every so often, I go on a little expedition I call grave digging. I dig through past journal entries and notes. I take anything useful and I move it to my computer (to my “Random Thoughts” file). I then dig in my Random Thoughts file and anything of a more particular use (or something that has had enough time to gestate) moves to a more specific file (such as a Character Quirks list or a Strange Facts File or whatever). From any of these files, notes might surface straight to files for stories in development.
Through levels of metaphorical, wormy earth, these strange things rise and wiggle. That’s a more general “grave digging.” I might take a more specific “grave digging” for a specific story. While I’m in the development stage of a story, I might look through my Random Thoughts folder or my Strange Facts folder or my Character Quirks folder and dig up anything there that might be useful in that story (maybe I wrote down that a character who tells lousy jokes about circus midgets…but hadn’t yet had a place for it).
Suffice it to say, by the time I sit down to seriously write something, there are already unconnected bits and pieces, in no particular order – limbs and heads and eyes and other gruesome treasures from my grave digging. I then fuse these things together, sometimes with messy, ugly stitches. And I throw the switch and there’s a spark and roars and screams of, “It’s alive!”
Often the freakish monster rampages and does things I don’t want it to do. I let it go, then recapture it later. I go over and clean up the stitches, make the seams less visible, and eventually transplant a more coherent brain with my monster.
But sometimes…I just let it rampage through the village…