May. 14th, 2009

chickwriter: (Moon Mist by Lanning)
There's a book out there called Writing Down the Bones. I've not read it, but I love the title, because it's what I do in creating the world of the Blood Lines series, in creating each book.

I was thinking a lot about process recently, how I get to the beginning; how I get to the plot, the how and why and who of each particular book. i didn't really think I had a process until we started discussing some of this on [livejournal.com profile] fangs_fur_fey . (See this month's Topic of the Month).

There's not a word of prose yet written on Book 4 (working title: Blood Heat), yet, my brain is smack in the middle of an early Hill Country summer, skin slick with sweat because of the horrific heat wave. Temps peak at just over 100F, nights aren't much cooler. The air is so still, you can almost hear the crickets outside under the trees, the slithering of the cottonmouths searching for what remains of the dampness of the dried up creek. Even snakes don't want to lie out in the sun.

By contrast, in my real world of the DC Metro area, we've got yet another rainy grey day, temps chilling in the 60s and low 70s. I'll be wearing a light jacket to work.

When I'm working on the bones of a book, I try to keep in mind advice from my wonderful friend and mentor, Nancy Pickard. "Use all the senses," she said. "What are your characters hearing, feeling, seeing, tasting, smelling?" I work to keep this in mind as I begin to create the shape of the book--what's going to happen when and to whom. How is this going to affect my primary characters? What challenges can i throw their way?

For me, it's one of the most exhilarating parts of the writing process. The barely-held breath of forming the beginning, molding the clay that will become, in time, a fully realized story.

How can I not love this?

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