The Creative Process


Individual writers and artists have quite different ways of working. Over time, you tend to find your own creative process that takes you through from the germ of an idea to either a finished work or something you hide from view and hope the dog eats it (and doesn’t get indigestion).

At times, the creative process, as romantic as it sounds, is a slog. Drudge work. It is tempting to think that letting the words flow isn’t work, but often they don’t want to flow, but the writer must get them down anyway. That is why writing is a job. It is also tempting to decide that you will just writer in a stream of either consciousness or what passes for it, and then sift through it to extract the gems that will surely be there later. It is tempting to think that, and I understand that some writers do that, at least some of the time. Not I.

I have trouble turning off the editor part of my brain when I write, and that editor wants to point out when characters speak in a way that isn’t natural, or are not behaving in a way that will make the story come out even remotely the way I planned it. Many of my characters are rogues who wouldn’t follow a plot outline if I wrote them one, or, if they say, would play their parts with wooden sarcasm that would underscore the foolishness of trying to define something as organic and spontaneous as a book. Certainly it can be, and is, done, but not by me. And I mistrust that approach, for it fails to take into account that the characters might be right, and the writer wrong.

My creative process requires that the characters come alive for me. They must talk and dance and fuck in my head before I can capture them on paper. If they don’t take on lives of their own, become human, how can I expect a reader to care about them? In a story, the characters must become people, not stick figures acting out a plot.

Nowhere is this more striking than in erotica (you had to know that I would relate this to erotica before I finished!). We want, need, desire, real characters who act on human emotions and passions. Anything else is just a sex show. Sex shows are fine. I see nothing wrong with that at all, but they are seldom truly erotic, and involve the mind and body as a unit.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. This post reminds me of the axiom that anything worth having is worth the effort. (And that other one about how if it isn’t hard, you’re probably not doing it right.)

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