Odd's bodkins, okay--I'm literally drafting this between reading one of Madison's Federalist Papers and editing a group presentation on Mary Wollstonecraft--I've never been this late in writing one of these Round Robins before! But ignore my slightly out-of-breath demeanor, for this month's Robin is a very fascinating one....
What writing practices do you have that you think are eccentric or at least never mentioned but you find helpful?
I've done this more lately with writing than when I was younger - I actually put myself into one of my character's shoes. I don't adopt their persona or anything, but I physically try to figure out how to do something. Then, I know the emotions and descriptions that go with it. I actually wrote about this happenstance for a blog hop last year, but I'll reiterate: I tried to rob my college's gallery last year.
I did everything short of actually grabbing the painting off the wall. Probably looking extremely shifty in the process. My museum studies class was wandering through our college's gallery and I really, really liked this multicolored painting of a woman in a forest, done in watercolor by a local artist. I mean, I wanted it. Would've paid big bucks for it. Given that I was also writing Monet Evanesce, a novel on art forgers/heists, it clicked that here was a grand opportunity to case the place and make my first theft. It became very clear very fast that I am not criminally inclined.
There were only a few cameras, which was good, and plenty of freestanding walls in the center of the gallery that I could hide behind. How to get all the way up to the ceiling and cover them, however? I'd have to grab a ladder. And then there was a problem with the door, which was super heavy and boasted a combination lock. The only person with this key and combo was probably our resident curator, who worked more or less alone in our building which has kind of gone spooky since the art program got canceled. So I could get literally everything from her, but how to do it on the sly? If I volunteered to intern there and blammo, the painting went missing, I'd be a suspect definitely. And if I got it out, how would I spirit this five-foot-tall paper painting down the hill into my dorm? What then? Any way I turned, I spotted a chilly jail cell and a curtly-worded expulsion letter.
So I realized I'm no criminal. But I did figure out how complex it would be for my characters to bleed a museum dry.
Besides pseudo-thieving, I will admit to being overwhelmingly cautious when first acknowledging a story. I don't care to say how many times I've imagined a character and too soon got swept up, and begun writing a story with literally no plot. Then I promptly run out of steam, hate myself, and abandon said character with countless apologies. So usually when I get an idea, I play hunter. I don't want the faun, that would be cruel. I demand the eighteen-point-buck. I might gasp and right a few sentences down, then ignore it. Don't get too excited. I peak out of the corner of my eye once every so often, to make note of a main character developing or--oh, wow, so that's where they live--and their friends, likes, and dislikes.
Sometimes this days a few days. I think it took me a whopping two or three to figure out Monet Evanesce. Other-times it takes months (like the sequel to Monet...I know there's going to be one, but not quite how it'll play out). How Serpents and Flame, a trilogy based on Greek mythology, became a series I'll never understand. I must've rewritten the second book three or four times. I even rewrote the first one three or four times! At home I still have copious notes in random notebooks; it's kind of fun to look over them and trace my thought processes.
What about you? Do you only write wearing a green sock hiked up over your left ankle? Only drink coffee when you write (guilty, up until recently)? Only write in the mornings, or only at 3:27 PM on every third Wednesday? Do share, or simply follow along the list of authors below. :)
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
A.J. Maguire http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Dr. Bob Rich https://bobrich18.wordpress.com/2016/09/24/is-my-writing-right-for-you
Anne Stenhouse http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Connie Vines http://connievines.blogspot.com/
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca
Margaret Fieland http://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com