Most of the time what I do as a writer is organic. It flows from my head to my fingers in a non-interrupted stream of consciousness.
It turns ugly, because I have to think and by thinking I mean skull scratching, throwing things at the wall, so angry I can’t breathe all because I can’t *figure out, * or *fix* a particular scene.
And when i’ve thrown all my pencils and my last notebook, I pull out my old standby: cold calculation. Like a Math Professor, who does quantum physics while he creates crossword puzzles, I methodically plot out the scene needed.
When I’ve done all I can, to make my werewolf loving, tight jean wearing twenty-year-old caffeine addict as realistic possible, I send my work off to a beta reader.. or two.
Then I wait.
And just when I’m convinced I will never hear back from anyone ever again… I get a knock on my door. (Yes, my favorite beta reader lives nearby!~)
Thoughts race through my head. Was the story tightly focused enough? Will I be able to fix the plot after they’ve ruthlessly shredded it to bit? Did my characters interact so well that when they were facing that mob of zombie werewolf vampires from the planet Alakazambia that my reader fell asleep? Instead of a tight review I can use for weeks on end, I get a …. compliment.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Sheryl, you’re supposed to be happy right now.
AND I am..
“This is so you. YOU drink coffee like this,” she tells me.
NO, No no. I drink one cup of coffee a day then i’m done. Kaput, finished. *I* shared my eye color with my heroine. Which by the way is a beautiful shade of hazel with flecks like real cinnamon floating haphazardly throughout. I gave her a love of woodworking, the joy of sanding and staining. That was me. The coffee? I coldly made that up.
“No. The coffee was you. I could so see you drinking that. ”
I look nothing like my character. She’s skinny and wears long t-shirts with cartoon characters on them. She drinks non-fat latte with an extra shot of caffeine. I’d die from that. I have fat reserves to replenish people. I can’t afford to drink anything nonfat. Her coffee is considered yuck in a cup.
Then I get that look. The one that says.’ I know you better.’ And maybe she does. If she wants to see me as a latte drinking, skinny twenty year old with hazel eyes. Who am I to judge?
So I shrug and close the door gently behind her. I open up my laptop and go back to my cold-blooded calculation on how to get a mermaid out of the ocean without threatening her with a great white shark.
Ah. The joys of being a writer!
Sheryl Winters lives in a small town in Alaska. She grew up in the midst of old country story tellers, so you might say writing comes naturally to her. She is known for writing paranormal romances with a twist. Her writing inspiration often comes from the great outdoors of Alaska and she enfolds bits of it into her stories. For further inspiration, she has raised a menagerie of cats and dogs to the aged spirits they have become.