A few thoughts on Writing

I write a lot. From blogging to university assignments to working on my novel, I seem to spend much of time at my keyboard.

While blogging is lots of fun and academic essays do provide a good intellectual challenge, fiction writing is what I really love most. Creating characters and places straight out of my imagination can be really exciting. I can spend hours and hours on character development. I like to know a character completely, inside and out. I remember finding it strange when writers talked about their characters as if they were living beings, who had some kind of control over their own actions, seemed a bit strange. Okay, so if I’m honest, it sounded like utter crazy nonsense. But now I completely understand. If I write something a character says, I might correct it with the thought, ‘She wouldn’t say that!’

I do have a little confession to make. I am terrible at coming up with names. I spend ages going through baby names websites trying to come up with the perfect name for my characters. And because by the time I do this I’ve already got a pretty clear vision of what this character is like, the name has to suit them. Which is completely ridiculous because, of course, when you name a newborn baby you have no idea what kind of person they’re going to be. I have no explanation for why my characters must have a name that feels right, like it should be what they’re called. Just like I can’t really explain how I come up with any of the fiction I write, beyond saying that it sort of just comes to me. It pops, like magic, into my head and I put it on paper. Or screen, really. I don’t generally handwrite. Especially not now, since I recently acquired a rather gorgeous MacBook Air (13 model, if you’re interested). Yes, I’m a bit of an Apple fan but seriously, this computer is just a joy to type on. I foresee many hours spent in lovely cafes typing away on this little beauty.

But anyway, enough of my geeky love for fruity technology. The big problem with this whole ‘popping into my head’ writing technique is that sometimes, there is no popping. Sometimes there’s a big empty void and I stare at the screen with no idea whatsoever of what to write. Conversely, sometimes I get an urge for writing and the words will come pouring out and suddenly I’ll look at the screen and realise that thousands of words have just appeared there. This would be fine if I was happy to plod along, having occasional bursts of creative outpourings. But I actually want to get something finished. My little dream is to be a published author. This might actually never happen but I’ve got to put my best effort into it or it will actually never happen. So I’m going to attempt to write on a weekly basis. 3000 words a week. If I do more, great. But that will be my minimum. Even if my mind goes totally blank, I will get something written down.

I’ll let you know how I get on…

Update: I’ve decided to sign up for NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month) in the hope that it will motivate me to get my novel at least completely drafted this year. Wish me luck!