Thursday, 21 April 2016

What have you got to say?



Well, as you may have noticed, I have been M.I.A. This is because of family and health stuff, and you all know the drill: this stuff has got to come first. However, I had some time today and thought I’d rattle off a blog so you guys know I haven’t forgotten you.

Alright, I’m going to start with a cheer-you (and me) up photo. For those who don’t know, this is my goofy big horse Roger:




See, nice to start the day with a smile. :-)


Today, I want to talk about what you want to say as a writer. When we write, we either get a character to follow, or a plot. Now most people will condemn you to the furthest reaches of Hell for saying you go for plot first. But I must admit, plot hits me before character. And that doesn’t mean I don’t work on my characters to a huge degree. I do. But my process is a little reversed, and perhaps yours is too. This is how it goes for me:

·     Awesome plot idea hits me at some random time (hopefully)
·     Lots of thinking because I am usually nowhere near a computer
·     Thinking about who is the best person to say everything I want to say
·     Prodding unconscious
·     Thinking about what I really, really want to say
·     Brain magically brings the character to me in the middle of the night and they match my plot


Yeah, not scientific, but that is my process. However, let’s look at the important information in there:

What do I want to say?

What you say is very close to theme.

Do you want to look at war versus love?

A shrewd look at the human condition? 

An observation on how futile mortality is?


Not all writers start with something to say. Some people have to draft. But at some point, whether it's when you have the idea, start writing, are at the end of a first draft or when you start editing, you’ll want to work out what you want to say. Knowing this will strengthen your work.

You might not even know what you wanted to say when you started. But you can unearth it from your work, because as we write, we put little parts (or whole hunks) of our souls in each word we write.

Me? I tend to have a kind of idea of what I want to say in draft one, and then my work really reveals it to me as I write. Think of it as going through therapy and working out the meanings of your emotions at the end. Then on revision, I hone this, over and over again.

So tell me, what is it you want to say in your current book?