June is coming to an end. After the pressure and pain–which is synonymous to the joy of creation for most writers–what comes next?
For me, it will be a composting period. I will be splitting my time between Red Flower and Shining Moon, building my worlds and finding the stories within them. The reason?
I have no idea what the stories actually are.
Oh yes, I have a vague idea of a government defense project gone wrong for one, and a war with three sides for the other, but those are just the basis around which each story must be built. Therefore, Red Flower and Shining Moon (or Project Kitsune, or Operation Kitsune, or Kitsune Initiative, or whatever I decide to call it) are going into composting mode.
I believe there are three pieces to the puzzle of being a writer.
The first is enjoyment. You have to love what you are doing, and be excited about you are writing. If you don’t enjoy writing it, no one is going to enjoy reading it. Also, if you are excited about what you are writing, you will produce much faster and at a higher quality level. I discovered all this a few weeks ago, when I switched from Zuki’s POV to Sam’s POV. I was excited about writing from Zuki’s POV, and discovering the mysterious world of Yokai Academy with her. When I tried to insert Sam’s POV, though, I got majorly stuck. It’s not that his voice wasn’t interesting…I just didn’t get him. I didn’t understand him, and I didn’t really care about him.
The second piece is regularity. You have to write every day, or you’ll fall into the same trap I did, which was the I’ll-just-go-to-this-BBQ-and-catch-up-on-writing-tomorrow trap. I also went to the Avengers movie at a drive-in theater. Twice. Hey, drive-in theaters are a vanishing form of…er…movie watching. So write every day. But don’t just write whenever. Experiment, until you find the time, length of time, and place at which you are the most productive.
The third and final piece is knowledge. Know what you are doing! Take the time, before you start writing, to think about what you’re going to write for the day. Before you start your writing time, do your research and find out all the little details you need. Make a few notes about eyecolor on post-its and stick them on your computer screen. Well, that’s not exactly what I do, but I’m not a pantser, so….
In conclusion–heheh…I hate that phrase–I am going to spend the next few weeks putting together the pieces. Knowledge, regularity, enjoyment.
And character sketches. Literal character sketches.