Yesterday I finally had the chance to sit down and write some of the novel I’m working on. It was really nice because all last week I spent reading so I had a lot of energy to write. But when I went to put my pen to the page I really wasn’t sure where I wanted to begin. Which I hate. I hate sitting there staring at a page (blank or not) and have nothing come. So I just wrote the first thing that came to my head and went on from there.
Then it happened as it usually does when I write. It’s like my vision shuts down, and I don’t see the page or the words any more. Instead it’s like I’m watching a movie and I see what I’m writing play out. Sometime it’s hard to explain exactly what is happening, but I either find the words, or at least write something down just to move on to the next part. That’s what editing is for anyway.
I love it when those moments happen because I can see my characters clearly, like they’re real and I’ve known them my whole life. I like when I’m sitting and thinking about my characters and they suddenly speak to me. They tell me things that I don’t know about them yet. I say that they tell me because it isn’t like I suddenly think it up. I can hear it in their voice and I see it through their eyes. It’s a great experience.
I know there are several people (I don’t want to say non-writers because everyone is a writer in their own way) who don’t understand this. I’ve had people ask me how it’s possible that a character can speak to you this way, and it’s hard to describe to someone who doesn’t know. It’s just a feeling that you get as the author. It shows that you know your characters well enough for them to trust you in telling you all their little secrets, even if in the end you don’t write it in the story.
Finally, I think the best part about this happening is that it’s unexpected and surprising. It happens at a time where I feel that I don’t have any ideas left. When I think I am stuck and have no where else to go with it. Suddenly a flash of inspiration will happen. It could be a starting word or line or just a quick image. Then I’m off, filling page after page while the characters whisper in my ear.