Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday's Inspiration -- Bird By Bird - Intuition

This time the short piece sent me off on a real tangent. Writers must have split personality. First there is the creative side. This is where inspiration takes over and you become so immersed in the story that the story becomes your reality. There's no thought about word choice. It's a matter of getting the story down. Sometimes when the creative side is working the story takes a right turn or even a U-turn from where the story was headed. Continuing along this path could be right or wrong but while the creative side is in control keep the flow going. There will be time later for the editor side of the writer to take effect.

I once wrote the entire first draft of a novel in 72 hours. This wasn't an easy task when I had four children at home. Fortunately I had a great baby-sitter and a supportive husband. This was also over the weekend. When I finished pounding the keys. This was in the days of typewriters and I had just received a new electric one bought with the advance from my first novel sale. I shoved all those yellow pages in a folder and went to bed. When I woke, the editor side took over. I have never done this again and I don't think I want to do such a marathon of writing again.

Back to the editor side. This side is slow and methodical. I found those yellow pages and saw all the writing between lines, in the margins and on the back. Some of the scenes done just by intuition stayed as they were written but many of then were changed, re-written. Once these initial changes were made. The editor turned to nit-picking and the story was edited word by word.

Sometimes when we're writing it's hard to keep the editor from leaping in during the creative side's turn. I've learned through some botched stories that are partially written to push the editor back while I'm creating. Doesn't always happen. Sometimes I stop and search for a perfect word or grab the research books. Sure wish I could really split the personality keeping one side at bay when the other is working. Yes, the creative side sometimes tries to jump in while the editor is working.

What about you? Are you able to turn off one side of your writer when the other is working?

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