Today we are pleased to welcome author Nicole Hamlett to Pink Fluffy Hearts where she'll discuss writing and her novel Volcanoes.
I read blogs and articles from other authors that tell you exactly how to write your book. They have processes and outlines and structured schedules. They create character profiles and story arcs. Those are authors that I both envy, worship and when I'm huddled under my covers because I'm not sure how I could possibly be any worse at this, I curse.
Writing by the Seat of My Pants – Don't try this at home!
I wrote an outline for Rifts, my second book, and then promptly obliterated it. I didn't write one single thing from that outline. I also tried my hand at character building. My characters laughed at me. I'm pretty sure that Grace hijacked my dream one night and told me in no uncertain terms that I would not get another word from her if I didn't stop crapping all over her personality.
My idea of a plotline looked a lot like this –
I think that I can safely say that a good deal of that happened. But not in the way I had planned it.
This also happened.
That still happens. I find scraps of paper wedged under my keyboard, on my nightstand and a few times in my underwear drawer. (Don't ask, I don't know.)
My characters and words flow out of my like water. Grace talks to me and I write what she has to say. I'm embarrassed to say that when asked where I come up with my ideas or what my inspiration for these books is, I can't come up with a good enough lie. I have no idea. And you know - that’s okay. I’m okay with not following rules when I write.
I watched a TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html last year that helped me come to terms with my inability to eloquently explain my rationale.
My muse happens to be a demi-goddess who writes through me to tell her story. I often feel like a conduit and I grasp at those bits of inspiration, sit down and go into a trance that lasts anywhere from minutes to hours.
I am by no means cheerleading this way of writing. I still sigh and read those articles longingly – sometimes wishing that I could be a better organized writer. It would certainly make me a better writer. But at the end of the day I am writing something that both surprises and delights me. I think that is what really counts.
I joke that I'm going to have, "I'm working on it!" tattooed to my forehead. Writing like anything is a painful process and until you find a comfortable way to make it your own, you're going to continue flying by the seat of your pants and hope for the best!
Nicole Hamlett is a single mother from Colorado Springs, living in Los Angeles, California. When she’s not writing books she enjoys reading, cooking and video games and can often be caught enjoying indie alternative music.