Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday Story - how my brain works

A couple of months ago I had this short story idea. I didn't have the whole story but a pretty good idea of it, and it fitted a theme. So I started to play around with it. I had a cool start and some notes, and I went off to finish my MMF novel.

I kept thinking of my short story. I added more notes. It kept circling, never leaving. It had to be told.

Yesterday I sat down to write it - because MMF was complete and submitted. 

I typed a thousand words and it hurt getting those out. So I moved to pen and paper and kept at it. I scratched out just over a thousand more.

It sucked.

But you can't edit a blank page, so they say. 

I went to bed with it incomplete and I was disheartened. It had been a great idea and I couldn't make it work. It's frustrating when that happens, and this isn't the first time and (sadly) I'm sure it won't be the last!

I was writing it in third person (he/she), because everyone seems to be writing in first and I wanted to be different. 

Today, I woke up with the story in my head. In first person, and my heroine was talking loudly. She wanted to tell this story, it was hers. 

And I sat to eat breakfast with my iPad out. I opened an email, set it up to send it to myself (as I sometimes do), and began to type. I honestly didn't hold out much hope. This story hadn't worked yesterday, even after it'd been brewing for months. I emailed myself. 

In another break, I continued in another email to myself. 

Then I did it a third time.

When I went to my desktop and copy and pasted my emails into word, I had 3500 words. And they were flowing. I've just sent myself the last email, and I can't tell you exactly how many words that one is because I'm still on my iPad but I'm guessing I've written 5000 words today by emailing myself.

And tomorrow, I have a story that works to edit. Not the story that wasn't working and was hurting to write (although that one is still saved on my computer), but one that sings in my head.

I wish I knew why yesterday the words wouldn't come, yet today they flowed.

I suspect it's something to do with the switch from third person to first.

I like first person. Actually, like is too weak. I adore first person. It's what I prefer to read and write. But I keep being herded towards writing third. At least now I can, but my love is always first.

Maybe some stories need to be told a certain way. Maybe some characters want to control what the readers know about them. Maybe some characters need to control the story. Maybe others don't care. I don't know...but a little part of me worries about my sanity when I think characters are ruling me :)

And that's another insight into my weird writing process. If you write, do you ever have such things happen?


  1. I think if it's flowing it's flowing for a reason. The fastest story I ever wrote was Fairway To Heaven and that's first person. I think it tumbles out easiest when it's just one POV to think about, one person's reactions at any given time.
    Huge congratulations on a 5000 word tally in a day, that's awesome!

    1. Thanks, Lily :)

      If it's flowing, it's amazing! I'd love to bottle that feeling.

      Cate xo