From A to B

Hello, friends! The lake is frozen, it’s snowing like crazy, and I’m dreaming of this Galangal and Coconut Milk Soup. (Don’t heed the blogger’s advice to substitute ginger for galangal. Go galangal, or go home!) I’m also thinking about my chaotic, haphazard, impulsive version of the writing process.

Digression: I am moderately interested in cars. I am married to someone with an obsessive interest in cars. Together, we have made children who are deeply, excessively, hypernormally interested in cars (also trucks, fire engines, buses, construction vehicles, etc). We have a small collection of bashed-up English car magazines dating back to 2005 that, appropriately deployed, can hypnotize both of the children for at least 15 minutes. They are a precious commodity in a house without a tv. Anyway, what I’m saying is that cars are high in the Top 5 subjects discussed in our house. I can confidently state that none of us has ever used the phrase, “So long as it gets me from A to B…” with even a fleck of sincerity.

But “getting from A to B” is one of the things I enjoy most about writing. I love to sit down, create a starting point, and then wonder, “Now, how will I get this character to where I need her? What should happen next? Does that ring true? What if something else happened? What if…” And I’m off. It’s almost always surprising, startling, satisfying. The vehicle matters.

What are your favourite parts about the writing process?

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5 Responses to “From A to B”

  1. Ellen Lindow says:

    Yes, how you get there does matter. It’s the journey. Many times I’ll start a story with framework, but prefer to have my characters show me how to get where I intend for them to be. The other part is woodcraft. Choosing just the right word or phrase, especially in dialogue or while the characters are thinking, that makes those characters real people and their own person.

  2. Harriet says:

    I love writing, but by the time i have finished the thing i was writing about it no longer is the story i wanted it be. It is really annoying!

  3. Ying says:

    Annoying for sure, Harriet, but also an opportunity! I’m sure with practice you’ll find a way to stay on track (or else embrace the new direction).

  4. steve says:

    First off I want to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing. I have had trouble clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out there. I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Many thanks!

  5. Ying says:

    Thanks for stopping by, steve. I don’t think the first 10 or 15 minutes is wasted if you’re actually thinking about your project. Are you re-reading, planning, making changes? Then you’re being productive. But if you’re reading blogs or watching K-pop videos on youtube, then disconnect from the internet forthwith!

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