Friday, January 30, 2015

Spending Quality Time with the People in My Head

Last week, after finishing my NaNoWriMo novel, I decided to celebrate by reading a book.  I’m a little bit behind on my goal of reading 1 book a week, but I’d decided to focus on finishing writing first.  I’d had the Winner’s Curse on my reading list for a few months, so I picked that up and started to read.

Here’s what I love about reading.  It wakes up my imagination.  I see how other writers do it and I think, “Oh yeah!  This is why I decided to become a writer!”  Even if it has nothing to do with what I’m working on, it always gives me new ideas and makes me want to write more.  For those who don’t believe that writing and reading go hand in hand, I’ve got to say: it does for me.

After I finished (Which, by the way, I hate cliffhangers!  Especially when the next book isn’t out yet.) I started thinking about my next project.  Last year, I was working on my second revision of The King’s Councilor, after getting it torn apart by some awesome betas.  I’d spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to get the beginning more exciting.  One of the chief complaints was that it was repetitive, and believe me, that’s not what I want in my writing.  I sat down with one of my good online friends and brainstormed.

Back to the drawing board

I wrote the first eight chapters and had her reread it for me.  Before I could keep going, NaNoWriMo came, and I wanted to start a new one for the occasion.

I was also a little stuck.  Now that the first eight chapters had changed so drastically, I wasn’t sure that I liked the direction the rest of the book was taking, so I’d probably been using NaNoWriMo as an excuse to procrastinate figuring out the rest of the novel.

But last week, after reading the Winner’s Curse, the ideas started pouring.  They had nothing to do with the book, but the creativity caused by reading was enough to get the juices flowing.  Saturday, I deep cleaned the house.  I needed something to do while the people in my head talked to me.  I’ve learned that when they talk, I’d better stop and listen.

The longer they talked, the more I realized that they knew what needed to happen in their story.  I know it sounds crazy, but when I let them take charge (not while writing, but in planning) I always come up with a better story. 

This week’s been a little chaotic, but I’ve still written about 3,000 words starting from where I left off. 

Do any of you use the people in your head as a muse?  Am I the only one?