Thursday, 12 June 2014

Words come when you're not looking

As some of you will know, I've just started spending every Wednesday writing.

It's remarkably productive, because in the six days between Writing Wednesdays (they're so important that they absolutely deserve capitals), I think about the story I'll be writing the following week. Wednesday morning, I'm ready to get going as soon as I've drunk some coffee.

The kitchen is really clean on Thursdays because wiping down drawer fronts, washing up all the cutlery or scrubbing the fridge helps me to think about the knotty problem I've just come up against in the story I'm writing.

I'm getting fitter too. Yesterday I had a revelation about the end of a story while cycling up a particularly vicious hill. I put it down to lack of oxygen in my brain making it see strange connections.

Doing something that's not writing, but while you're writing, is the best way to see a new angle, hear a resonance, or smell a character who's been hiding in the undergrowth.

And here's another thing I've found out.

Last week I finished a story I've been writing since January. Then I looked at another story that I completed a while ago and realised that I needed to cut the first half of the first sentence. I went back to the first story and found that it needed a few teaks that I hadn't been able to see while embedded in it. I made the changes and sent both stories out - the first in ages. Reading another story helped me to step back from the one I was writing. By coincidence, Adam Marek, whose stories I admire hugely, blogged this week about working on two stories at once and how it helps him to see each more clearly - take a look at how it was for him.