I had an interesting phone call just now which has just obliterated the post that I was going to do. A friend or a friend rang and said "I've just read your book, it's good, how did you write it?". I ummed and ahhed and tried to sound a bit more literary than I was feeling but managed to sidestep her blunt question and move smoothly on to another subject.
Don't get me wrong, I am still high from the other night and could quite possibly rattle on about the story and background until the world stopped spinning. What I wasn't prepared for was the "how".
Looking back the question could be construed in different ways. How did I 'manage' to write it would have been easy and could have been answered in one phrase - stolen time.
I could have also interpreted it as "How the hell did someone like you manage to write a whole book?". Again easy - anyone can write.
So how did I write it? How do I write? How does the idea get itself on to the paper/screen?
Oh dear, this is something that I am not very comfortable with but I suppose it is time to come out of the closet.
When I went on creative writing courses (all for the wrong reasons btw) I found quickly that I didn't fit into the norm. I listened with interest to the tips for avoiding writers block. I listened and made notes about plots and plans. Plans that should stretch across the wall, accompanied with six months worth of research all packed into a neatly labelled lever files for easy reference. Some people planned out the entire novel on rolls of wallpaper and some used colourful post-it notes to map out chapters. Others gathered plots like precious antiques, storing them away for future reference and some made meticulous bullet-pointed lists of motivational cues and complete character breakdowns.
I sat my glasses on the end of my nose and nodded my head in all the right places and all the time I was thinking 'I hope we don't have to show that we know all of this' and my mantra became 'they do it their way and you do it yours'.
I don't really know what right and wrong is, I only know that I don't do it like that.
I write the last sentence first and then work towards it and if I don't use it in the end, then who the fuck cares?
I wouldn't know a plot if it bit me on the ass and planning would take all the excitement out of the next bit which I am usually dying to get to.
We should surely write in the way that is comfortable for us. Am I wrong? Tell me.