Writing the Dream: 2nd February 2012

Look at the title of this post and remember it. Remember it really well, because every time you see it you will be about to be allowed a peek into my ‘writing head’. What’s a writing head, you ask? Never mind that now, there’s stuff to write!

Do you remember at school ever being told not to use the word ‘stuff’? I do. I love this word, because it’s so unspecific. It allows you to refer to everything and nothing at all in one fell swoop. When I think about my writing, I must keep track of the following:

  • Characters (names, appearance, personalities, motivations, dialogue etc.)
  • Plot (foreshadowing, twists, intertwining, main plot, sub-plot etc.)
  • Worldbuilding (places, species, history, names etc.)
  • Themes (revenge, loyalty, honour, family etc.)
  • Readability (hooks, structure, language etc.)
  • On top of the above, I am also listening out for interesting things that people say, looking out for their behavior and mannerisms and seeing if any news articles provide interesting ideas to play around with.

So when I think about all of the above, I broadly label it as ‘stuff’ and tidy it away in my writing head, which is quite separate to my work head, home head and gaming head. Luckily, I find it easy to switch between these different ways of thinking, so I don’t zone out in a meeting thinking about my novel, or panicking at home about stuff that happened at work. Usually, anyway. If I had to label the ‘heads’ I would do it thusly:

  • Writing head – creative, imaginative, hard-working & sometimes dark.
  • Work head – helpful, knowledgeable, quick & sometimes stressed.
  • Home head – lazy, happy, creative & sometimes slow.
  • Gaming head – compulsive, indecisive, competitive & sometimes grouchy.

As you can see, there are several overlaps and there are others, like my driving head, that are more sub-head or transitional heads. I do not have a favourite head or a least favourite head. They all serve a purpose and they’re all useful or useless depending on the situation. In case any of you are wondering, when I write these blog posts I use a combination of my writing and home heads (mostly writing).

As for my actual writing, it is progressing very well at the moment. I told my fiancée to force me to sit down and devote an hour each night to writing, instead of slacking off on the Xbox or wasting time on Facebook. This approach has been working very nicely for me. I’m the sort of person that needs structure and set times for things to happen. If I deviate from this, I find myself wasting time. I would have been well suited to the army, I reckon, if it weren’t for the mortal peril and all that.

Anyway, ramble over. When I feel a need to share more about how I write, I will create a similarly titled post. Until tomorrow, then…


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