I think I’ve said in a previous post that my story is writing itself and I’m just along for the ride. If not, consider it said. In a way, it’s freaking me out because it’s like I have no control over it.
Sunday morning, I woke from sleep with a scene playing in my head. Remember this when you wake up, I mentally said to myself and rolled over. Then I rolled over again. Then I sat up in bed. Laid down and rolled over again. Sat up again. “Well, fuck you,” I said aloud, “You’re not gonna let me sleep until I get up and write this, are you?”
So I got up, pulled out a pad of paper I keep near the bed, starting scribbling on it, knew none of it would make sense because (a) I was half-asleep and (b) my hands were numb from my carpal tunnel; so I begrudgingly hit the Power button on my computer. An hour or so later, I’d added 2,500+ words to my book.
The same thing happened this morning. I woke at 6am and had to get up to write a scene that was in my head, knowing if I put it off until later, I’d forget it for sure. 1,500 words later, I started getting ready for work.
The other day, I decided that since this book seems to be “working,” I should make a note of my process, which I did; nice, bulleted list of my “ritual” or routine for this book.
- I’m using Scrivener. It’s a writing platform (available for Win, Lin, and OS) that helps you organize your writing projects, and it’s given me a whole new level of “control” or oversight of my writing, far more than Word (sorry, MS, ily but…). Scrivener is good because……..
- I write all over the place. No real order to what I’m writing. It started off a bit weird, then my main character sorta took over the story, so I’ve been mostly writing his story, then going back and filling in other parts. Scrivener is great for this because if something’s out of order, I don’t have to scroll around in one long Word document, I can navigate my way to the scene I’m looking for and drop and drag it to the spot where it will fit better. Looovvvvinnnnnng Scrivener! I have no clue how I ever wrote without it.
- I have my muse. Googled a description of my main protagonist in an attempt to “get to know” him; he hasn’t shut up since and he doesn’t seem to want to let me sleep either. Scrivener sits on 3/4 of my screen, the other 1/4 of my screen is taken up by a browser window, open to an image on my Google drive, and my muse stares me in the face the entire time I’m writing. Sometimes I’ll sit back, maybe stuck for words, look at him, silently ask him what he’d say or do (yes, I talk to my imaginary friend) or just yell at him (internally, cuz aloud would probably be crazy) “WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENINNNNNGG??”
- I put on my noise-canceling headphones and blast SiriusXM Octane the entire time I’m writing. This is a new thing for me. I used to like it quiet when I wrote; now I wonder if that was backwards. Octane is the channel of choice because it’s new hard rock (think Linkin Park, Adelita’s Way, Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold, etc.), so while I do know a lot of the tunes, they’re always introducing newer songs to the mix, so I am not distracted by lyrics and singalongs (which I found didn’t really work for me when I switched over to the RockBar station; spent more time singing along than I did writing). So Octane works because it’s loud and hard and I don’t know most of the lyrics. And c’mon, it’s the apocalypse…the soundtrack ain’t gonna be Joni Mitchell…
- Placeholders. I use placeholders. Notes: RESEARCH 19TH CENTURY BATHTUBS, BITCH! or HOW THE HELL DID RUBI GET INSIDE THE BARRIERS??? or PUT SOME SHIT IN HERE ABOUT FINN FINDING THE
GROUP. Placeholders of things I know are going to happen or things I need to research. Things I need to write but don’t want to interrupt the current momentum to work out. Screw details, make shit up as I go along, worry about “fixing” or “correcting” it later.
- Take breaks – browse FB, YouTube, Google; I don’t “force” myself to write; I write when it flows, take a break when I want.
- When I’m done writing for the night, I hit the Compile button and make a PDF draft of my entire manuscript and upload it to my Google drive.
- I check my word count and update it on the NaNo site.
- The next morning (if it’s at night) or later (if I’ve written during the day), I browse through the PDF, mostly focusing on the new bits I’ve written, or seeing how some of the newer parts flow with other stuff.
- Start all over again the next day.
I’m sort of hoping that by recording what my “ritual” is during this book, it might help me when it comes time to write the next one…or a sequel…or a prequel…
I haven’t written like this in a long long time. The words, they’re just pouring out of me, the chapters, the scenes, this has been coming for a long time, I think. I only hope it’s decent LOL!
Want an excerpt? Why not.
In a world where there was so much suffering and pain, where sometimes you didn’t know where your next meal was coming from, the ability to lose yourself in the innocence of catching sight of a dragonfly flittering by—or watching a mechanical dog chase a mechanical cat—was a luxury very few took the time to enjoy, and it was free to anyone who sought it out. For people like Ethan and Ben, who had a thirst for knowledge or an urge to explore, such things were just a natural side effect, and for people like Rubi who were lucky enough to find people like Ethan and Ben, a side effect from which they benefited as well because it taught them to stop, look, and listen to the world around them. She was amazed at the number of seemingly small details of the world she might have missed had she not stopped to take them in; and for that, she was in debt to both Ben and Ethan.
Ethan’s my muse. Guess he wants his story told. I just hope he continues to think I’m the one to tell it and doesn’t give up on me…;)