My writing retreat at Cape Hillsborough didn’t turn out as planned, but it wasn’t all a loss. I managed to get some words down and a good direction for my book 2 to track on. But on with what I really want to talk about. This is something that has been the cause for much debate at writers’ meetings, and only seemed to prove that different people attack their writing differently.
The question is do you, as a writer, approach your work in a methodical manner, meticulously planning a story or book to its final skeletal details, leaving nothing to chance. Or, do you let the story lead you into its wonderous fabric a step at a time, surprising and delighting you as it weaves its tale – a more intuitive approach?
I tend to be more intuitive in my writing but not entirely. I will sketch out a general framework, then I write along that framework. I love the story to surprise me, and open up its sweet petals to reveal its beauty and complexity. Every writing session is preceded with a reading of what I have put down leading up to that point. I will play my ‘muse’ music that puts me in the mood, and I have illustrations and sketches of characters and places to help me visualise the setting.
Book 2 has quite a different feel about it to the first book, although it is a continuation of the overall story that I had created the framework for so long ago. It is a different mission, which now no longer depends on the singular character to complete. Mirrortac has started the mission, and will finish it, but not alone. He is in a desperate situation that requires helpers, and who better than his own children (childfins) to come to his rescue. He has come into the hands of a hostile tribe on a violent planet, and what’s worse, he can’t remember what brought him there. While the tribe has hailed him as some kind of warrior ‘bear’ that can help them battle their enemies, he still has a mission to complete, and one that won’t make him popular with the tribe. Exciting times ahead!