Do you create, or do you listen?


Lissa(Mrs. C) and I had a conversation a while back . . . (warning: you are about to have a glimpse into the minds of two writers who may or may not be crazy, and don’t worry about proper grammar and punctuation when instant messaging).

Rebekah
the first concepts were not at all what it turned out to be later, but I absolutely love what it’s become

Mrs. C
exactly! part of me wishes I had been working on it all along, but then again, it has developed so much that I think it’s finally becoming what I always imagined it to be…..if I can get back to writing it anyway

Rebekah
but I love it so much I’m almost afraid to write it, because what if I tell the story wrong?

Mrs. C
*nods
are you one of those people that creates or one of those people that listens?

Rebekah
I listen
I may create the environment for the story, but the characters take over completely

Mrs. C
same here
If I try to create something, it falls flat
miserably

Rebekah
mmhmm
most of the time it starts out with a glimmer of an idea that I have to flesh out and add detail to until a character comes along, lol
and tells me why things are the way they are

Mrs. C
Mine usually starts with an image. I won’t be thinking about anything writing-related and I’ll just see the briefest flash in my mind’s eye that is powerful enough to actually make me stop seeing the world around me for a second. That’s when I know a story is coming.

Rebekah
an image or an idea, in my case 😀

Mrs. C
I may see a person, or hear their voice, or see part of a scene, something very random, and I have to wait for the rest to show up
yep

Rebekah
last year’s NaNo started with an image

Mrs. C
really?

Rebekah
mmhmm
I saw a girl crying in the middle of the forest
not just crying like she was upset, but crying because her world had just been torn apart
and I had to know why
and thus ‘Weeping Willow’ was born

Mrs. C
Things like that are why I write
Because I can’t see that stuff and NOT put it on paper

Rebekah
exactly!
and since I can’t draw, I have to do it with words 😀

Mrs. C
yep!

Rebekah
(I think we’re soul mates)

Mrs. C
hehe
🙂
it sounds silly and most people don’t understand it, but as lazy as I can be with writing…the biggest thing I fear is NOT getting the story told. like dying in the future and not writing it down.

Rebekah
mmhmm

Mrs. C
and I don’t mean that in that I think it’s awesome and I want to make loads of money off it (though I would never turn that down haha), but I mean it as it feels like a bit of obscure history I’m privy to and that if I don’t share it, it dies again.

Rebekah
yeah

Mrs. C
whether anyone sees it or not doesn’t matter, just that it’s recorded

Rebekah
mmhmm
I want to get my epic fantasy one finished sometime, but it is like an old, ancient history . . . but sometimes those are the hardest to write even though they demand to be written the most

Mrs. C
couldn’t agree more
it feels good to have someone to talk to about this sort of stuff that doesn’t think I’m crazy for it :p

Rebekah
hehe, I know 😀

I hope you followed all of that, it took some major editing!  (If you didn’t figure it out, Lissa and I talk a lot!)  I needed to get this post through before the next one, because understanding how I write will help you to understand what I write when I start delving into that more.

I have come across two types of writers in my ‘career’ so far – there are those who create, and those who listen, to use Lissa’s terminology.

Creators can simply sit down and write a story, and have it do exactly what they want it to.  There is really no limit on what they can (or want) to write, and these are the ones who probably turn out the most content the fastest.  These stories are their own.

Listeners are simply telling a story that they are being told as they write.  These stories are not ours, and they take on a life of their own from the very beginning.  We are the writers who rely on what has been called a ‘muse’.  We can write without the muse, but with it is when we do our best writing.

Lissa and I are both ‘listeners’, if you were able to relate to the above conversation.  Stories for us usually begin as an image or idea that flashes through our mind – it’s something we don’t understand, but suddenly must.  In my ‘Breaking Down Categories’ post, I mentioned three stories that I am working on – Weeping Willow, Father Time, and Gyti.  Two of those three started as images in my head – Weeping Willow and Gyti.  Father Time started as an idea, and the images followed.

During NaNoWriMo, my husband often laughs at me because I’ll be lying on the sofa, my feet dangling over the arm, netbook propped up on my knees, and I’ll be typing with my eyes closed.  What he doesn’t understand is that I’m ‘listening’.  The characters are talking to me, and I’m literally watching a movie play out in my head and I have to somehow get all the significant detail and the dialogue and the emotion of what’s happening into words.  There’s a reason I type 75+ WPM during November.

There are some days when I think it might be nice to be a ‘creator’ instead of a ‘listener’, because writing articles doesn’t really give you the option of listening, you must simply create content quickly.  But then I think of these stories that I have been told, and most of them haven’t been finished yet.  If I don’t write them, who will?  Not to mention, when a new story comes around, that thrill is like nothing else.  Writing is my drug.

Are you a creator or a listener?  Do you wish you were the other one?

Advertisements