16 months after brain surgery, I’ve been able to wean off the heavy meds and my creative writing is coming back. In short bursts, not long jaunts, I’m starting to envision scenes again and feel the will of a single character. (Whew.) I know some folks might find it odd, but one of the most helpful tools in getting this back was just not writing for a month. I really didn’t do anything beyond the book column.
Now that I’m active again, my challenge is to harness these little creative jaunts into something useful. I’m not a fan of letting words and ideas just sit around gathering dust. I see too much staleness and feel a need to breathe something fresh into the genre while the ideas are relevant.
What that will be, I’m not sure, but for now I think it’s safe to say the format needs to be shorter than a novel. Shorts and screenplays match my stamina.
I’m always curious about other writers and artists’ creative process so I’ll share a piece of mine: my work is inspired by everyday people but not necessarily now and not necessarily matching real people to real events. I like to take a personality and challenge it with a situation that brings out something relevant we can all relate to. I like to create a situation that leaves us feeling hopeless and then show how the most unlikely person can overcome it.
Crime fascinates me not for the criminal or the heinous act, but for the strength of the individuals and communities who put an end to it. The survivors, the unlikely heroes and the career crimefighters. What drives them? What might defeat them? How does the best in them triumph over the more-powerful evil?
Time for some research. What’s your process?