Monday, February 08, 2010

A Very Creative Weekend

Phew! My fingers are sore and the week is just beginning. There's a story that's been bugging me for months. The characters stayed in my head when I was doing client work, when I was working in the garden or even taking a walk. Everywhere I went the characters followed, wanting me to pay attention to their antics.
Problem was, the story didn't seem to be very viable (too different from what I usually write, not sure what it was exactly, if there is a market for it). Basically, working on it was too much risk in terms of time invested for something I don't know I could write well or sell. So it rattled around in my head, sometimes even blocking me from thinking about other fiction possibilities.
Until this weekend, when I locked down the house, took a notebook and pen and started writing. I didn't censor what I wrote, I just started from what seemed like a beginning and kept going. Sometimes I'd have to go back to change something, mostly add a lot more detail, but I put it all down on paper. In the 48 hours that was the weekend, I only went out once to the market to buy dog food.
60 A4 pages later, I have the very rough bones of God knows what. A novella? A novel? A short story? Whatever it is, it's now on pieces of paper on my desk. And I will have to give a lot of thought and attention to the world I'm creating, rework the story many times, rewrite portions where I got stuck with the details, give some definition to many of the supporting characters, expand on themes etc. Then I will have to edit, rewrite, bring some art and craft into the storytelling. But for now, I all I can do is be happy I finally have some relief. There is peace in my head! And I can finally get on with other projects "uninterrupted."

Also spent time doing some online research. Found a nifty book carousel at web site called LibraryThing. Essentially the carousel allows you to load your books, with short descriptions, ISBN details, reviews etc, and you can then pick up the code of these books to display on your web site. The book covers rotate on a small section of the allocated page, and readers can then click on a book cover that interests them to get more details. I've been looking for something like this for months and plan to use the widget for the books published by the OneLove campaign members and will let you know if it works. You can also use the widget to display books from your own library or those you wrote, depending on whether you're a reader and/writer. Amazon has a similar widget, but that only works for you if the books you want to display are for sale through Amazon. By the way, you can download the ebooks that I plan to make available through the widget here. You can also give the ebooks away through your web site if you want. Also note that members of LibraryThing, some of whom are authors and publishers, offer advance books for free to readers for review. So if you have a reading habit you can't afford, check the site out and find out if you can get some free books.


po said...

Wow Damaria, I loved reading about your creative process. 60 pages in one weekend, that is impressive. It is so real to me now, because I am doing this writing course (anther one!) where I have to write a chapter of a book, and at first I thought the idea and the character in my head were crap, but now I can't stop thinking about her life as if she was real! Weird.

Damaria Senne said...

Yeah, it's sort of rough when they stay in your head and don't move along, sin't it? I don't know about other writers, but once I write it all down, they go quiet for a while. Until they have something else to say...

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