“On the whole, stories don’t write themselves.” ~ Neil Gaiman
I have to be inspired to write. What inspires me? Everything inspires me: people, places, conversations, food, things, actions, songs, newspapers, photographs, and folklore. Writing is sometimes like a drug; once inspiration hits, I go into a frenzy trying to write everything down before my creative juices dry up. I might go for months without writing anything substantial, and then inspiration may come in the form of a snatch of dialogue here, a facial expression, a weird walk, social and political issues, or a Barbadian proverb; and then I’m off.
I write every day. I see the scenes, the characters moving through my mind having conversations and interactions with each other. They talk to me constantly, begging me to tell their story. I try to help them, but my pen is inadequate. I fumble over their dialogue, their actions, and feelings. I try to help them express themselves on the page, but after many scenes of failing to get the scene just right, I move on to another story, another scene, another time, and another place.
“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” ~ Franz Kafka
Passion also fuels my work. I have to feel passionate about a story, a concept, or an idea, otherwise everything I write feels and sounds like crap! I have the insatiable habit of rewriting and editing a piece until I’m sick of it. I write and rewrite scenes over and over until I lose the thread of my original thought. The story becomes blah, and I’m disgusted with myself. I have to scrap that story or scene, and start from the beginning. The stories are better, but in the process, I’ve lost some of my fire, and passion for what I originally wanted to write.
“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” ~ Jodi Picoult
When do I find time to write? I write on the train to and from work. Sometimes, I might be reading a novel, and all of a sudden a scene pops into my mind, and I have to write that scene. And so begins the circular process of rewrites and edits, until I am satisfied that it is ready to be read.
“Writing is making sense of life” ~ Nadine Gordimer
Every story I write has either Barbadian characters or is situated in a city in Barbados. I love the Bajan language and its colloquialisms, they reflect who I am.
Dear friends: keeping in mind my writing style mentioned above, I will try to post romance book reviews on Fridays, and my story excerpts on Sunday nights. My first scheduled post will begin on Sunday, January 24, 2016.