A few of you might have noticed that some of the scenes in the first chapter of The Willow, came from earlier short stories I’d written. In one of those stories, about a single mother and her two children going camping, the daughter has Down’s syndrome. Right before publishing the first chapter, someone questioned me on whether someone with Down’s syndrome could say a line she had said. Although I knew that I had researched it earlier and that it was indeed possible, I got scared that I would have to research every line that would come out of her mouth. Instead of staying true to the character, I just gave her dyslexia instead and walked away.

Ever since publishing that first chapter I’ve been kicking myself for the change, because that is just not how I write. I don’t try to create, but rather I allow the characters to be revealed, or let them unfold, before me. Since the first chapter, it’s been very clear to me that the story becomes so much more interesting when I stay true to the characters rather than being lazy. For this reason, I’ve gone back and fixed my error. So those following the story closely should take note that the little girl, Daisy, does indeed have Down’s syndrome.

I hope you’re enjoying the story. I know I am, as it is unfolding before me only slightly earlier than it is presented to you. When I published the first chapter, I had no idea how all of the characters would relate to each other. I only had a quiet notion of an endgame in mind. After the second chapter, I still had only found links for a couple of characters. Only right before writing the third chapter did I have a major epiphany about what the story should really be about. Since then, I am struggling to keep up with the revelations as they continue to come. Presently I don’t have more than one sentence written for each of the chapters left, excluding this week’s chapter that I am now working on. I only started the story with an end date. Knowing that I would be busy in December, I counted out till the last Friday in November and accordingly made the story 21 chapters.

Thank you for taking this journey with me.

 

Now that I’ve come clean about my writing process, tell me about yours. How do you create?

 

Featured image via http://www.wallpaperstock.net

7 Comments

  1. I’m glad you chose to stay committed to your own writing process and changed the story back to the way it came to you.

    When I think of a topic to write about, I tend to let the idea flow through my mind for a while before I start writing. What often happens next is that I wake up one morning and the words are right there. Early morning is definitely my writing time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am not as gifted as you and your mom. I must review in my head for a length of time. Then I write an opening paragraph and spend sometime developing the start. After that the writing comes easily. I am rereading chapters one and two as I am enjoying the journey a lot.

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  3. Thanks for the chance to write about my writing process. I’m a journal writer. Meaning that I write to myself about my internal process. This is how I saved my life from a life of eternal suffering. I no longer suffer from old pain. In addition to daily journal writing I also read many books linked to all levels of inner healing and as I read I write: Sort of personal conversation with the books. That part of my healing journey is over. But, before it ended, I entered college at age forty five and studied for ten years. I came out with more degrees than I could pay for, but since I am a seeker of knowledge that was one of the happest times of my life. I still free- write everyday. When I skip a day I feel off center. Doing this since 1975 led me to go deep down into my unconscious and back out. (and the unconscious is no place for the faint-hearted). So, along the way, I’ve learned to by pass my ego and write from my deeper self.—-meaning not allow my ego to edit or monitor my writing. Which, by the way “is not” the way I’m writing right now. I’m self-consciously aware that you will read this. Sreejit writing about his/your writing process is truely an inspiration because his/your method may be the answer to my problem with writng fiction. Alice Walker is the only other writer I’ve known to talk about her characters speaking to her. I am so afraid that I will die without finding a way to leave some account of atleast some of what I’ve learned from a lifetime of inner work for others to read.
    Jackie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for writing about your process. I have really had some of the same experiences as you with writing. Although I didn’t know what I was doing when I started, it’s had the same effect of helping me to go within and sift through the baggage. By the way, if you are interested in writing something for the On Living and Dying series, I would love to have you. You can find the full info on the prompt here: https://theseekersdungeon.com/365-days-on-living-and-dying/

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