Writing is 90% Thinking

Getting back on the writing horse after a long hiatus is every bit as difficult as one would expect. It would probably be easier without the tonsillitis and the feeling that my brain is talking a walk on a muggy day in June, but only marginally.

I have a one-pager to write before the weekend. I thought it would be relatively simple, as I thought I had a comprehensive set of notes from which to work – but it turns out I thought wrong.

It seems that I wrote some notes, and then I wrote a second set of notes, in which I made several leaps of logic, merged two characters and invented a few bits of backstory. Without writing down the intermediate stages of that thought process.

But this afternoon, I just about picked up the thrust of my argument and set to work.

It was about half an hour later that I zoned back into the room and realised that my cursor was still blinking in front of me with an empty bullet point to fill: I hadn’t written a damn thing.

Except that I’d repopulated my world with colour and sound. I remembered my character voices. I had filled in those logical gaps that had been achingly out of my reach. And I was ready to give the finale the attention it deserved.

If I had forced myself to put “words on paper” as the maxim goes – and I had considered drawing floor plans and raiding my board games for character representatives – I would’ve had words but, at the end of the day, they would’ve been useless to me.

By giving myself time to think – and then watching a genre-appropriate film – I put myself in the right frame of mind to put down words that actually resonated with the world view of my characters. Quality over quantity.

Which is all a long-winded way of telling my producer that I haven’t actually written the one-pager yet but, when I have, you know it’ll be worth the wait.

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