Outside of writing my PhD thesis I told myself many reasons why I just couldn’t start The Worlds Within. Of course, I was procrastinating. I was lazy. But really I didn’t know how to start. Years ago I read On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. In that book he talks about his writing process. He just throws characters into a problem situation and sees how they figure it out.
Other writers put together an outline. Considering how mammoth I saw The Worlds Within in my mind I thought I needed an outline. I wrote an enormous amount of lore for The Nyre Lands. And then I tried to write an outline.
Know that much of this happened six years ago and I only started writing the novel last summer. What happened?
The outline killed the story for me.
Finally, last summer, I decided to just write. I had my character, Aedinn Finn. I knew him well. I put him in the room in Kol Uthera and waited to see what he would do. And that’s how The Worlds Within began.
All of the back story I wrote helped. For any novel based on a completely different world I feel that a certain amount of back story is mandatory. At least for me.
How about the actual writing process? Well, at first I sat in front of the computer and just typed, but soon I found that I typed too fast for my self correction process to keep up. At work, during lunch breaks, I started to write in a notebook. To my surprise I found that I preferred writing by hand. Handwriting slows me down. Allows the self correction process to assert itself.
I then transcribe the handwriting to the computer, another step that allows for correction.
And that’s the process. Here’s a picture of my handwriting in a journal. Alefiya asks me how I can read my handwriting. Well, I wrote it, didn’t I? Still, sometimes I have to squint and rotate the page to figure out what I wrote.