Archive for October, 2011

Clearing the mind to write

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Below is a comment a comment at my last blog. I decided I would devote this blog entry to it as it as good a topic I can come up with.

“First off I want to say wonderful blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing. I’ve had difficulty clearing my mind in getting my ideas out. I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or tips? Thanks!”

A fine question indeed. I do understand about sitting in front of a keyboard and the brain refuses to come up with anything to say. My solution to that is very simple: I walk away. Perhaps that is not the answer you were looking for but for me I don’t have the time to sit pondering my next move. So if nothing comes to mind, I start to do something that needs to be done. I find that if I’m busy doing something- almost anything- I will think of something to write. Then I can return to the keyboard and at least start.  I find it impossible to clear my head (the blank expression on my face doesn’t necessarily mean I’m not thinking) before I start writing. In fact a cluttered mind seems to work quite well for me.

When I’m writing a story and get stuck where to take it next, I will sometimes jump ahead a few chapters to write. This helps me focus on what I need to work on in the earlier part of the story. At other times I’ll start editing the story at the beginning just to get a feel where I’d like to move the story to next.

I’m usually working on more than one story, maybe three at various stages of completion. So if one story is starting to stall I will switch over to another that get the creative juices flowing.

If I’m tired generally I do have trouble writing and don’t even attempt to do anything with a story. If I do, chances are I’ll delete most of it anyway. Better just to watch some TV or read a book. Or to finish that bottle of wine.

Unlike some authors, I don’t write every day. I have to be in the right mood; otherwise it‘s a wasted effort. I write for enjoyment and if I don’t feel like writing it seems silly to force it. I have read a few books where the last chapters end seem a little forced or not of the same quality of the beginning. Also I have read a series where the author seemed just plain bored but had to finish it anyway. (Okay, I’m thinking of Tad Williams and the Otherland series. Very good first book but it trailed off from there.) With that in mind the third book in my Castle series recently was released and I had worked hard to maintain the writing in each book. I hope that my readers enjoyed all three books.

Cheers and best of luck writing. Below is my contribution to fantasy literature, the Castle trilogy. The books are available through Melange Books.