Friday, April 11, 2008

How I Write

I've been asked to describe how I come up with my scenes, visions and characters. That's not an easy thing to put into words, since for the most part, Catrìona is telling me the story, and I just type it. Really. I may have a general plan, but she directs me all the way.

In fact, when I try to take control because I feel she's going in a different direction than I perceive the plot should be going, I'm literally shut down. Talk about writer's block! Nothing happens. I can sit at the keyboard for a week, and unless I relinquish control back to her, the screen will remain blank. How's that for channeling!

She takes me to places I would never have thought to go, introduce characters as she needs them (she does let ME name them, though), and come up with some obscure bit of information that I have to research to be sure it's correct. There won't be another word typed until the research is complete. I'm not one who can skip around it, because many times the direction that is taken is derived directly from what I find in the history. It's like a light bulb turning on and lighting the path to the next scene. It's pretty fun actually, not knowing what's going to happen until it's typed. The story is as new to me as it is to the readers. Kind of like watching a movie and going along for the ride, letting each scene unfold with its twists and turns.

Many, many times, Cat will throw a surprise in that sets me to talking to the screen, saying, "Are you sure? But how will this tie in with the scene we're doing now?" Much like Cat does in the stories, there will be a voice in my head telling me to not think how, just see where it takes me. Hey, if it doesn't work, the delete key is a stroke away. It seems the only time I use the delete key to destroy a scene is when I try to take over.

So after six years of writing, I've learned to listen to Catrìona and let her lead me through the story. It's a blast!


TerriRainer said...

Thanks for sharing that Mary! I can relate about arguing, although my main argument WAS over the name! LOL

How is the agent search going? I am still dying to read your second book. I HATE the wait , just as I'm sure that you HATE it even more than myself!

Glad to see you post, I kept pulling up your blog, and although I was greeted with a wonderful view of the de-kilted hiney, it's always good to hear what you have to say!


Mary Duncan said...

The agent search is painfully slow. Out of the 78 queries I sent out, there are 28 who have yet to respond. The rest have replied with a "no, thanks" letter. The 4 who asked to see the mss eventually said "no, thanks," as well. This game really sucks!

I am planning to go to a nearby Agent Pitch Conference in July to sit down for a face-to-face with some agents. I feel I may have a better shot that way.

If not, then I'll use my old POD publisher and go that route. I just want it out there. It's all such a monotonous waiting game. I may have patience, but I fear it's wearing thin.

On the brighter side, my screenplay is being pitched in Hollywood, and yesterday, I sent a query for it to Gerard Butler's agent, now that he's between scripts. Hey, you won't know till you try, right?

Thanks for the support.


TerriRainer said...

LOL...But what part would Mr. Butler play???

Good lord, you would be my new best friend if that happened!

Hang in there with the agent search. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be. I think that may be why I still drag my feet doing revisions, at least now I am not suffering daily blows to my literate ego.

I'll still keep my fingers crossed for you!


Mary Duncan said...

Mr. Butler would be playing the part of Catrìona's father, Angus Robertson. Laird, husband, warrior. Can't you just picture it? Boy, I can!!!! It would be the coup of the century if I got him. Hell, it'd be the coup of the century if I get the movie off the ground, period! That's the stuff dreams are made of. And besides, stranger things have happened ... not to me, of course, but ...

Revisions are the way to go. You'll know when it's right to say, "okay, it's time to share this with the world."