The latest novel in my Broadswords and Ballroom series for Casablanca is due in a week, so thoughts of writing flow and creativity have been at the forefront of my mind. One of the things I love most about being a writer is the same thing I love about being a reader, namely, being swept away into another world. I love to get to know my characters as they interact on the page, as a scene I thought would be a simple moment in the park, for example, turns out to be a pivotal moment when a Highland girl with a claymore and an unsuspecting earl meet. It is always fun to watch scenes unwind themselves in the theatre of my mind as I write, but it is especially fun now that I am writing comedy, because the freedom of comedy allows my characters to step out of their norms in ways that shock me a little, and often shock the calm English characters who watch them do it.
The flow of a scene, whether comedy or drama, comes at its own pace when I sit down to write. I have a word count to make each day, but the question of how long it takes me to write those words depends on the flow of the story. Some days, the words are a torrent, flowing like the waterfall behind my house.
Other times, scenes in the very same book will move more slowly, like the stream that runs down from the waterfall, hidden under ice. The flow is still there, I just have to chip away at the ice, warm it with patience and time in the chair, before those scenes finish on the page, and my daily word count is reached.
Writing is a joy, but it can be hard going as well. On the days when I have a sniffle, or less time before work, or when I haven't slept the night before, I have to whip out the caffeine to spur myself on, or take more time at the lap top on my lunch hour, or write when I get home from work. This is always a challenge for me, because my brain turns to mush after dark. I am a morning writer, but I am also a writer who wants to make her deadlines, so I dive in even at night, when the word count hasn't been reached yet.
Some of you out there are writers too...what makes changes happen in your work flow? What are your most frequent stumbling blocks, and how do you get past them?
Ever since Christy English picked up a fake sword in stage combat class at the age of fourteen, she has lived vicariously through the sword-wielding women of her imagination. Sometimes an actor, always a storyteller, Christy works happily with Sourcebooks Casablanca to bring the knife-throwing women of her novels to life. A banker by day and a writer by night, she loves to eat chocolate, drink too many soft drinks, and walk the mountain trails of her home in North Carolina. Please join her for more fun and frolic on her website ChristyEnglish.com