So it's been a while since I've written a post for here. In my defence I've been busy writing No Place to Hide (out march 11 and half price if you preorder!) and working on Rocking Racers 3 (watch this space!) and other author promo things which don't seem like much but take up a heap of time. So I've been busy! Lol. But I wanted to take a moment to express something I've been thinking about for a while, which is my writing process and how I write.
A lot of people ask "how do you write a book?" I know it's a hard concept to grasp if you're not that way inclined. 50,000, 60,000, 70,000 words is a lot for some people yet I churn them out. But how do I do it? The short answer is I sit down and write. Not what you were wanting to hear right? But it's how I do it. Sometimes I feel like a fraud because I don't really think about what I'm writing, it just comes. Structuring the story just comes to me. I don't really spend a whole lot of time thinking about what I want to write or how I'm going to write it, I just sit down and write it.
Writing has always been like this for me. I remember in my first year of high school we had to write a newspaper report based on something that happened in the book we were reading. We hadn't been taugh about newspaper reports or how to structure them but somehow I knew how to do it anyway. I still remember my teacher asking me to read mine out and telling everyone that was exactly how you did it. That's probably why I got my degree in journalism, because it came naturally to me. And the novels I write come the same way.
Yes, I have plot points I want to hit but I never know how I'm going to get from A to B, I just know I'm going to get there somehow.
A lot of writers talk about hearing their characters talk to them. I'm one of them. I legitimately hear my characters words in my head. I'd worry about it but again, it seems to happen to a lot of writers so either there's a massive mental health issue going on amongst us or it's not that strange! Not that this happens all the time mind you. In fact, I'd like it to happen a lot more often than it does but I'm nothing but a slave to my muse, lol.
But the in between times? I think sometimes I get so far into my characters world that things just pour out of me, they follow from one part of my brain I don't consciously tap into and flow straight to my hand and I don't know what's coming until it ends up on the page.
I was never formally taught how to write. I was never taught about protagonists and antagonists. I was never taught about all that fancy storytelling jargon that I can't remember the names of now. I think I learn best by seeing examples and following that. It's probably why I read a lot, to learn how to structure things, or to see how I can spice my own stories up. I can't tell you about all those 'proper' story writing terms, but I can tell you what's wrong with a story. Maybe that's the essence of being self taught, and until now I didn't realise that was what I am, and sometimes I feel like I'm massively behind, especially when I get manuscripts back from my editor, but I also know that what I write, no one else can. They can't tell it like I can. I read a lot and I know my voice is quite different from other people. That's good, I want it to be. But again, it's not something I consciously developed, it was just what came out.
So much of my writing, basically all of it, is what comes naturally to me. I love it, it makes me feel special. It also makes me feel like a fraud. But then I sit down to write and find my imaginary friends are off playing somewhere else and I know I'm like every other writer out there at times. Still, nothing feels as good as it does when the words are flowing, when you have so many ideas you're racing to put them down on the page. I'm a writer, it's just what comes naturally.