Diane Rapp’s writing process:
I started writing to cure insomnia. I sold real estate during a time that interest rates hit 20% and no one could qualify for new loans. Stress overwhelmed me, and I spent sleepless nights trying to find creative ways to help my sellers and buyers. I tried self-hypnosis classes, deep breathing exercises, and reading a ton of books to take my mind off the real world.
After I ran out of books by my favorite science fiction authors, I started imagining my own stories while I waited to fall asleep each night. That worked! Yes, making up science fiction stories helped me fall asleep until that horrible day…the day I was compelled to write one down. The characters haunted my dreams and demanded that I bring them to life. I bought my first computer and started typing as fast as my fingers could move.
Nothing was planned. The words tumbled out of my subconscious where they’d been percolating night after night. Everything was going fine until I hit a mental block. What was going to happen next? I didn’t know. I hadn’t planned the book and the characters were satisfied to let me flounder alone. I started experiencing more sleepless nights until I realized that I must explore what had happened before my story started.
Crazy? Well my husband told me I was crazy on more than one occasion, but I knew I needed to write the beginning all over again. I slept on it for a few nights and my fingers started typing again. When the story got to a point that helped me understand the place I was stuck, I bounced back and forth until I finished three books. Of course they were awful. There were great moments but nothing hung together. So I took classes, read books on writing, and started rewriting.
Do I recommend this process? No. Now when I have an idea, I chart a timeline and write physical descriptions and histories of the characters. I know them, how they look, their agenda, and how they fit into the plot. A new character might force the story to take a side trip or derail the entire plan. I introduced a new character in one book and I liked him so much I went back to the beginning and inserted him into the storyline much sooner. He was a villain and you know how villains mess with your plans.
My writing is character driven. I just don’t know how to “dream a plot” without putting characters into my dream. Yes, I still imagine a scene from my current story as I fall to sleep, and my mind works on the scene until I’m compelled to write it down. I get more sleep that way and more writing done. I gave up selling real estate long ago. I prefer to sell my ideas to willing readers who want to take a journey into my dream world.
Many thanks Diane for sharing this with us. Another author who has found a unique way to use her talents. You can stalk Diana out by checking Check out Murder Caribbean-Style and Howl of the Wolf at www.quicksilvernovels.com.
Thanks for dropping by! And as usual I can't let another week go by without thanking all of you who continue to support me - one way or another! It is so greatly appreciated.