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Kathy J Marsh

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Member Since: Sep, 2007

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Inside This Writer's Head...
by Kathy J Marsh   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Thursday, December 13, 2007
Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2007

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Kathy J Marsh

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Find out what happens inside my head when it's time to write...

During interviews, Iíve found one of the favorite questions asked is: how do you write?  So, Iím here to give you a little insight into my process.


First, I must say Iím always amazed at the writer who can sit down and just write, letting the characters or the story blaze the trail.  The few times Iíve tried that method my brain refused to cooperate.  Itís such an anal grey mass, it shuts down if it doesnít have a plan.  I sit in front of my íputer, my fingers at the ready, and my brain is just there, not a thought anywhere in sight.


So, to get anything done, Iíve had to adjust to my brainís whims and give it what it wants.  Its first demands are always a theme and a major conflict.  Once I come up with those, the brain is adamant I give it a beginning and an end.  Youíd think it would be concerned about the middle, too, but itís not.  I can create the characters, instead, if I want.  Usually though, Iíll go ahead and give some thought to the middle and whatís going to happen there, because I want to create characters that will work with the action.


It is mandatory for meómy brain doesnít seem to care, which I find odd since itís such a stickler for other thingsóthat the characters be fully drawn and that their actions make sense.


Before the brain will participate in any writing at all, I have to do an outline.  It might let me write a few lines if I think I have the perfect opening sentences, but thatís it.  The outline can become rather detailed, because sometimes, Iíll think of the perfect line for a character, but since Iím not allowed to write any story at this stage, it becomes a part of the outline.


Once Iíve finished the outline, the brain is happy to settle in and let me write.  Oops!   I forgot something exceedingly important.  Jazz must be playing in the background before any words can find their way onto the screen.  And it must be jazz.  I tried listening to something else once, and the brain showed its displeasure by making me get up for a singing and dancing session.  No writing got done.  The dancing was okay, but the singingóso not pretty.  I got the point, and now, itís just jazz.


Though Iíve written the outline, it isnít cast in stone, and Iím allowed to change it once the story gets under way.  But only if the brain agrees the change is better.


One last thingÖthe brain is adamant I act out some of the pivotal scenes.  And I can see its point.  The acting does make for better descriptions, especially, of facial expressions and body movements.  Accuracy benefits from the acting, too, though Iím not convinced the brain is all that concerned about it, so itís a good thing I am.


Finally, at this point, the grey matter and I come together, make peace and enjoy getting the story written.

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Reviewed by Ken Chartrand
Hello Kathy, I read your article,"Inside This Writer's Head" I found it quite interesting. I also use some of those methods of writing...though, I am the 'get it down now'kind of writer. I think I should try to be better organized. Best wishes. Please feel free to visit my site here in the "Den"
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