The Creative Process

September 22, 2009

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As I have mentioned eleventy billion times previously, I am an aspiring novelist.  By “aspiring”, I mean that I have yet to produce anything long enough to be classified as a novel (although the story Key Relationships was a step in the right direction in terms of length).

Writing fiction for The Soap Boxers has kick-started my fiction writing, and the creative process in general).  Never in my life have I written such a volume of fiction is such a short time (roughly thirty thousand words since the advent of Fiction Friday back in March) – while also writing a significant amount of non-fiction pieces and balancing other life constraints (work, family, baseball).  I think there are a few reasons for this revival.

  • First, this blog allow my work to immediately reach an audience.  Even when I don’t get feedback in the form of comments, there is an extra jolt of adrenaline that comes with knowing that anyone in the world could stumble across one of my stories.  It’s even better when someone actually leave a comment.
  • I’m beginning to realize that I’m an aberration from most writers.  I’m really not a big fan of taking a pen and physically writing on paper.  I prefer to do my writing almost entirely behind a computer.  Not only do I prefer the physical aspects of typing to those of writing, but I appreciate the ability to make correction and restructure the story on the fly.  If I did my writing with pen and paper, my notebook would be a mess.  I do use paper to write ideas and very short segments (preferring a composition book rather than a spiral bound notebook), but I rarely write an entire story with pen and paper.
  • Blog readers, in general, like to read relatively short blog posts.  This pushed me in the direction of writing pretty short stories, since I really couldn’t drop a ten thousand word story into a blog post (although I can serialize the lengthy stories at The Fiction Writers).  Writing a new short story every week forced my the write about things I hadn’t previously written about – there are a pretty strange variety of stories within Fiction Friday).  This has allow me to branch off into new direction and also refine a lot of my techniques – in particular, dialogue.

Onto another tangent … another way to I express my creativity is through “Instant Message Bombs”.  One particular friend seems to drift away from the keyboard and leave AIM up and running (I’m fairly certain that he’s not simply avoiding me).  Whenever I determine that he’s unresponsive, I leave him a few random comments, such as:

“Then there was this explosion.  Grapes and Cheerios everywhere.  It took hours for them to clean up the mess.”

“A horse.  Can you imagine that?  Why on earth would they pick a horse for that job.  A gerbil would be a much better candidate.”

I’m really not sure if these non sequitur comments serve any purpose in the creative process, but the reaction can be fun to watch 🙂

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Living with Balls
    Sep 22, 2009 @ 16:16:57

    Good luck if you decide to start a novel. I thought about writing a book and decided it be a lot easier to start a blog.
    .-= Living with Balls´s last blog ..Invention is the Mother of Necessity =-.


  2. kosmo
    Sep 22, 2009 @ 21:56:20

    I have quite a few of the plot details laid out – hopefully I’ll have a chance to flesh it out a bit at some point.

    Yeah, starting a blog is definitely easier, and it also lets you experiment to see what works and what doesn’t (rather than writing 100 pages and realized that it doesn’t work)


  3. Michael
    Sep 23, 2009 @ 03:05:29

    Never before has there been so many aspiring novelists on the planet at the same time 🙂 I blame the dumb internet for giving so many of us a voice. Internet Bastardos! I think if I can offer any advice at all it would be read the book on Writing by Stephen King. The most important thing is to power through you can always clean up the details in your revisions. I’m no novelist but the one thing I’ve learnt is in order to write I need to switch my inner editor off until I’m done with the writing bit.
    .-= Michael´s last blog ..Goal Gym; Goal Large or Goal home =-.


  4. kosmo
    Sep 23, 2009 @ 08:40:54

    But it’s a GOOD thing that we all have a voice 🙂 We can always use ear plugs to block on the noise.

    The nice thing about being an aspiring writer is that it’s a very cheap hobby.

    I’m a fan of Lawrence Block’s books on writing, but you’re not the first to recommend King’s book. I may have to check it out.

    I think it’s cool that guys like Block and King wrote books on writing. From a pure money perspective, it probably wasn’t the best use of their time – certainly King would have made more money for his efforts by writing a new fiction book. I see them as reaching out a hand to help new writers take the next step up the ladder of success.


  5. Evan Kline
    Sep 23, 2009 @ 09:04:59

    I think what happened with you and this site, getting you writing, is what I’ve heard many writers say- the key thing, is to just write. Just sit down and spend time doing it, and you’ll write more, and get better at it.

    I’m like you in that I’d rather write on the computer. I can type faster than I can write, and it is more enjoyable for me. I bought a netbook, and I’m hoping that will help me scratch my writing itch a bit more since I can use it almost anywhere.
    .-= Evan Kline´s last blog ..4 Steps for a Comprehensive Backup Solution =-.


  6. cb on bonanzle
    Sep 29, 2009 @ 04:59:23

    I like how you define what an “aspiring novelist” is. We all have to start somewhere.


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