daydreaming method of writing

Diana Pharaoh FrancisDiana Pharaoh Francis
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In the last two weeks since my last post I have been moving. Packing, cleaning, unpacking, driving many many miles (about 4000) and generally going a bit frantic. The odd thing is that I’ve been managing to squeeze in some writing. A lot of the writing has been the kind where you stare out into space, or down the road over miles and miles. The daydreaming has been for the current WIP is that I really don’t know the plot. I dislike that intensely. I want to know where I’m going. The funny thing is that I have all sorts of subplots and a lot of side characters. I just don’t know what the central plot is. I know what part of the conflict is, but after that, it’s murk.

So I’ve been doing the staring-off-into-space method of writing. In this method, I’ve been thinking through potential scenes, character conflicts, dialog, and little moments for each character and trying to both tangle them up and untangle them so I understand what’s going on. The result has been headway. I still don’t know the central plot, but I’m piecing together a lot of things and I can feel myself closing it. It’s a bit like building a puzzle from the outside edges and closing in to the center. Sooner or later, whether I can see the actual piece, I will know it’s outside shape, based on how all the other pieces fit with it.Then I’ll be able to color it in and fill in the blank, so to speak.

Such is the messiness of writing. And now, back to the business of unpacking. I’m sure I’ll still be at it come my next post. But hopefully by then I’ll have more actually on paper.

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10 comments to daydreaming method of writing

  • I’m in the same place with a project, Di. I have other stuff going on — Thieftaker promotion, another book in the series to write, and a few other things. But I have one new project that has me totally jazzed, that I can’t wait to write . . . and I have no idea what happens in the central narrative thread. As you say, time will tell. A bit of daydreaming, a bit of brainstorming; it’s all part of the job. Hope the move has gone well.

  • Di, you are in my favorite part of a book! (David too.) It’s the part before anything is real, when everything is amorphous and sliding and open and everything is possible! I love it! Have fun with the unpacking and the novel-dreaming.

  • I’ve been doing this a lot lately. Been working on a few things and not getting anything accomplished. Hit a slump where my backside’s draggin’ to the point I could plant corn in the furrows. I need to find a way to get more energy and motivation and kick myself back into gear.

  • That’s my favorite part of writing, too. In fact, I’ve been stuck in the daydreaming phase for a while. Like Daniel, I need to get myself back into gear.

  • ajp88

    Echoing what others have said…this is the best part of creating fiction for me. Well maybe holding the finished product tops it but that takes so damn long to accomplish. Love playing with moments, who to give them to, how others react, setting and what it means to the plot, etc. etc. etc. So much fun!

  • Sometimes when I’m truly struggling with a bit of writing, I ‘dream’ on it. I begin working on plot or structure, or developing a concept. I find that it tends to get incorporated into my dreams while I sleep, and in the morning, a new idea is usually waiting for me.

  • I totally hear you, Diana. I’m away doing more hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and I’ve been taking my notebook into the chamber with me. Alone with a pen and paper and nothing to do but write means I’ve been doing a *lot* of freewriting, and that’s been a big help for figuring out plot stuff. And thinking about how pieces of various puzzles are coming together. It’s a great feeling. :)

  • Di – As I’ve been spared the need to pack and move for twenty-one years, I collect my brain-wandering time in the shower, or out on walks. I love the way ideas spring to life, once my mind isn’t bogged down with day-to-day details… Good luck with the move! (And the book, of course :-) )

  • Razziecat

    Diana, it sounds like you’ve been “unpacking” bits of story from somewhere in your brain :) I find walking is good for this too, or sitting on the subway train or bus and letting my mind wander. When I first got back into writing, I used to plan scenes and dialog days in advance of the actual writing. When I finish my WIP, there’s another project simmering on the back burners, so to speak; I have my characters but no plot yet. I love the build-up of ideas that eventually leads to “I need to write this down NOW!”

  • sagablessed

    I do the same at work. Now, if I could only write down what I dream up! :P