Today I'm just going to do a short post on the process that I have used to write all of my short stories and poems so far.
For me, all of my writing to date has started with a phrase or combination of words that for some reason I just really enjoyed. These little pieces of inspiration might be something that I hear in a song, or on the street, or just something that goes through my mind.
At any one time I have a number of these nice little sayings floating around in my head, and I might just let them sit there for ages before I actually feel that it is the right time to sit and put a story around them.
A perfect example of this would be 'Your Sunlight and my Shadow Heart'. It might be kind of obvious, but the phrase that started all of that was "I'm sitting cross legged on my floor in the middle of my life", something that just appeared in my mind when I was sitting in my room about 7 years ago. The phrase has stuck with me all that time but it just never felt right to put it into words until recently. Then, when it did feel right, I just sat down and let the words flow however they wanted.
This is how I write most of my stories. I just kind of start with an idea and then sit down and write the whole thing from start to finish in one go. I give all my work a quick proof read at the end of course, but usually I only changed a word here or there.
I really love this way of writing because I find that it gives the story a nice cohesive flow, but also, because I feel like it allows me to give myself over to the story completely.
I often feel like I am just a medium through which the story travels to get onto paper.
I don't try to control it or manipulate it into being what I want it to be. I kind of just let it evolve however it wants.
Sometimes this means that the story I end up with is nothing like the story that I thought it would be when I started, but I don't really mind. I always figure that if the ending of a story surprises me, there is no way that the reader will see it coming.
A great example of this would be in 'Freedom' with the dead body on the floor...I don't want to give it away, but I did not see that coming at all (but maybe you did and I'm just a bit slow).
Another example of my writing not turning out how I thought would be 'White Knight'. The inspiration for that work was "You might be my white knight, but I'm the light that makes you shine". This is one where I kind of wanted the phrase to work as part of a short story, but when I sat down to write it, the words that came out had another idea altogether and it turned into a nice little poem.
Very rarely this method of writing doesn't quite work and I know where the story is going, but can't quite see how to get there. When this happens, I tend to just leave a few empty lines and then just continue with the rest of the story. Then, some time later it will become clear how to bridge that gap and I will go back and write the words to fill it in.
So, really I just start with these little phrases as inspiration for a story which evolves whenever and however it wants. The phrase isn't necessarily an opening sentence, it is more of a central idea or theme around which the story or poem forms. I just sit and write whatever my brain tells me. There is no planning or structure whatsoever.
I think that it is a really great way of writing really organic and flowing short stories and poems. However, I would like to write a novel one day, and the process that I use now isn't really conducive to a lot of character and back story development.
On occasion I have tried to force a story into being what I want it to be, or I have tried to plan a story from start to finish before I begin, but this has always resulted in awkward and cumbersome work which I really don't enjoy writing or reading.
Based on all of these experiences, I think that I'm going to need to do some research and start working on using some other methods of writing.
I hope you enjoyed this post and it gave you some insight into why my stories are like they are.
Maybe it has even provided you with a new method of writing to try.
I would love to read about what writing process works for you, so please feel free to post a comment and tell me all about it. :]