I am an obsessive writer. I find writing compulsive.
The first thing that happens is an idea or inspiration will trigger a process in my brain. That might result in a compulsion to write something down immediately in order to capture that idea.
Once the seed is planted the idea may lie dormant in my head for a while. It will require other ideas. It will have created problems that need solving. It will need a setting. It will require characters. It has to have a plot.
On occasion, this all happens at once. I start writing the original idea and the other ideas, characters and plot pile in and I find myself desperately writing to keep up. I am a one-finger typist.
Some of my ideas have lain dormant for years, waiting. I find myself mulling them over; searching for a way in. It’s similar to looking for a crossword puzzle answer.
Some of my novels are closely plotted. Each chapter laid out complete with pen pictures of characters and settings. Other books flow organically. The characters appear fully formed; I have a picture in my head of the story and the ending; I merely allow it to flow.
Writing like this is the easy part. I find it joyful and fulfilling. The novel consumes me. Nothing else is of importance. I wake up in the night with my head buzzing with ideas, developments and solutions. I cannot wait to get writing. Often minor characters grow into major ones. Characters change and develop. Plots change. A novel takes on a life of its own.
Left completely to my own devices (which is rare) I will write from morning into the night until exhausted with just short breaks for coffee or a snatched snack.
A day’s work would result in between thirty and fifty pages.
I do not reread or edit as I write. I allow the novel to flow out of my mind on to the paper.
I find the process very satisfying.
The day starts with a blank screen. By the end of the day, I have created the start of a world. By the end of a few weeks, I have created a whole world.
But that is the beginning, that is the pleasure. It is what happens next where the real work begins.