Monday, 10 January 2022

Writer Without A Clue

I bought an eBook a few weeks ago and it was fascinating to read.

It’s called “Writing Into The Dark” and it’s written by prolific author, Dean Wesley Smith.

He has written hundreds of books and short stories and this book is all about his writing process.

He calls what he does “Writing Into The Dark” because he begins all his novels and short stories (which are not so short because they’re all thousands of words long) and he has no clue how the story will start or end.

He begins with just a few words, or an incomplete idea in his head, and then he just starts writing with no idea as to how the story will develop or end. He doesn’t even know who the characters are until he makes them up as he goes along.

Writing this way would scare the pants off me. I can’t imagine sitting down to write a novel and not even know what it’s going to be about.

I have done free-writing exercises before where I’m given 3 random words and I have to write about them, or write a story that includes them, for 5 minutes without stopping.

I can actually write ¾ page this way, but it feels weird to have no direction with what I’m writing. Yet strangely enough, what I write in those 5 minutes without any forethought, is quite good. In fact I’ve expanded some of them into published articles and stories.

So maybe ‘Writing Into The Dark’ is a creative way to do things.

After all, it’s the way Dean Wesley Smith has been writing novels for years.

Either way, it was fascinating to read his book about his whole writing process.

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