Old Moon

Friday, April 20, 2012

Rush to the Finish?

Are you a last minute, work better under pressure person, or do you need thinking time, downtime, dream time, to come up with something written? In my college days I used to look on in wonder as my roommates would scramble to complete papers the day before they were due, and be pulling the last sheet from the typewriter just as they were leaving for class. I'd have been paralyzed by such behavior.

Right now I'm trying to work out the plot for a novel of a kind I've never tried before. Never mind the problems I'm having with that. I'm just wondering how other writers deal with such things. I've read enough books about how to write and create so I ought to be able just do it all with scarcely a thought by now. I'd like to find out where others do their right-brainstorming.

The shower has been one of my best, along with weeding. I used to get pretty far when I was pushing a vacuum cleaner, but nowadays I don't automatically have that tool to hand. My house is cleaned for me unless I can't stand any more cat hair or the petals have fallen from a neglected floral arrangement.

The worst time for me is after I've turned out the light at night. That's when the head goes into fourth gear. That's when I wish I could just put everything on hold and cut through to the finish the way my roommates used to manage in those days when I would slog along for weeks so I'd have the assignment ready several days ahead without the adrenaline. Maybe that's what I need to practice now, but somehow I feel I'm not up to learning a new habit.


Hal Cannon said...

It is for this reason I can no longer stand the night.

roughwighting said...

I dislike plotting or outlining, so I let my characters lead me to the conflict, the climax, and the finish. They seem to know better than I!

JLC said...

To Hal I can only say, we better learn to stand the night. One turns up every day. The trick is to figure out how to live with it. Let me know when you figure it out? ;-)

JLC said...

I couldn't agree more with the non-outline. The characters have to take over, or I have to quit. What I'm needing right now is technical info to further the notion that's come to me. Fortunately, I have a friend who will be able to help soon. He's an expert in real estate, and that's what I'm looking for--just the right kind of illegal behavior...stay tuned (but don't hold your breath!