Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Why I Write, And My Method

So many people have asked me why I write, and what my process is. The first is simple: I write because I enjoy it so much, and so that I can read the books again. They gathered dust on hard drives and floppy disks and then stiffy disk backups for over 20 years, and some were lost due to corrupt backups, a stolen PC and a crashed laptop. I had no plans to even try to have them published in the beginning, but, after writing so many, I decided to give it a bash. No one else had read them, at that stage. Self-publishing was easy. Marketing was the hard part, but I didn’t expect much, so I made the first books free and left the rest up to fate.

My writing process is also very simple: I just watch the film in my mind. I totally lose all track of time when I’m writing. I’m in that world, not this one. I only stop when my coffee mug runs dry and for potty breaks; things that drag me back to reality because they have to be urgently remedied, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to drink from an empty mug. My longest stint was fourteen hours, from about ten pm to midday the following day, during which time I wrote over twelve thousand words – which I only discovered when I stopped.

I wrote the prequels to The Queen’s Blade a few years after I finished the series, at the suggestion of a fellow writer. Writing them was quite strange for me, because I already knew some of what had happened from Blade’s memories, which is not normal for me. I don’t feel like the books are the result of my skills and ideas. It’s like I’m a chronicler, and the stories come from somewhere else. When I’m writing, it’s as if the story downloads into my mind while I’m doing everyday things, and then I purge it into the computer. Sometimes I’ll get a lot, and sometimes not so much, and I just have to read a few pages of what I wrote the previous day to get hooked back into the channel again, and then it just flows. The story kind of grinds to a halt after a few hours, either because I’ve purged the download for the day or because I’m too tired, then I go to bed.

The next day, the process happens again. The story in my mind stays on hold until I write it, so I won’t get more until I’ve written that part, nor will it disappear. I can’t even access it until I write it. I just know it’s there. So a typical day when I’m writing is pretty ordinary until I ‘zone out’, which I prefer to do at night, when it’s quiet, which makes me nocturnal.

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