While writing a novel I have all of my characters swirling around inside of me–their motivations, their fears, their joys, their good days and bad. Right now I am working on a war novel that is about a group of 12 soldiers and an army Chaplain who fight those who create wars: bankers, politicians, and war profiteers.
While writing a novel I have all of my characters swirling around inside of me–their motivations, their fears, their joys, their good days and bad. Right now I am working on a war novel that is about a group of 12 soldiers and an army Chaplain who fight those who create wars: bankers, politicians, and war profiteers. And I carry all of these characters with me inside of my subconscious throughout my waking hours and for the entirety of the time I write my novel until completion.
If you want to know what I write about, imagine war stories, serial killers, people who are insane, people who have been hurt, tormented in life. And I know all of my characters as much as I know myself. At times it becomes painful knowing all of these things, carrying their pain and suffering with me along with my own.
And though I enjoy what I do immensely, it is very trying at times, as I’m sure you can imagine, to have these characters, some who are not the nicest people in the world, hurting some of the other characters who are nice and kind people around inside of me. They are living beings, doing their things, sometimes harmful things to themselves and others, and I have to remember that they are simply characters in a work of fiction.
But that is also why I have to have a drink, exercise daily, and get plenty of rest otherwise I am overwhelmed with my characters’ battle fatigue. When it is time to rest it is time to rest. Usually I slog along until the novel is done and then I take my vacation from those very painful situations and strained individuals. A welcomed respite indeed.
I become angry with my editors after they finish giving remarks on my work because my novels are my babies that I have born into the world and raised up to be special and loved by everyone.
When someone tells me that my child has a problem, is at fault, is lacking, obnoxious, arrogant, poorly dressed or boring I become resentful and want to fight their accusers…even though they are right(most of the time).
If you are a writer and you struggle with actually sitting down and putting words on paper, a Pomodoro timer might do the trick.
Pomodoro timers, for those who don’t know, are basically phone apps that will run for a set amount of time and then go “ding” when the time is up. It will then give you a short rest period and go “ding” again when the break period is over.
Pomodoro timers typically run for 25 minutes and then you have a 5 minute respite period. So, for writers, you can write for 25 minutes. Go balls out if you want. And then you get a 5-minute pee, drink break or whatever you want to do for 5 minutes and then it’s back at it for more 25-on, 5-off periods if you so desire.
I feel that most writers struggle to get into working at certain points in time. And if you have a Pomodoro timer you can tell yourself, “I’ll write for 25 minutes,” and then after you get into it, you will probably write for at least an hour, maybe an hour and a half simply because you started by thinking you were only going to write a short time and then you got into a groove.
It’s a trick, but it works for me when I don’t really have the drive to write sometimes.
“Writing a book is like telling a joke and having to wait 2 years to find out if it was funny.” Alain De Botton
Kirsten Lamb has great knowledge about the craft of writing. I suggest checking her blog out at http://authorkristenlamb.com/