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Reflections of a working writer and reader



The Writing Shifts Gear

I found this in my diary from about eighteen months ago:

I’ve come through somehow with the new novel. One of the keys is to have the narrative transferred into the subconscious so that you can work on it in dreams and when you’re somewhere else. And this happened during the past week. I’ve found myself wandering around at 4am, 4.30am, making notes; being dragged out of sleep by a new development in the thinking or the lives of the characters. This is an exciting time, building up a head of steam and hoping the thing will maintain its own volition.

This was part of the experience of writing Winged with Death. Time was the main theme, the centrepiece, but at this point in its construction it was being decorated with the tassels of revolution and dance and youth and the presence of death.

PS. You can read the first chapter of Winged with Death by following this link.

3 Responses to “The Writing Shifts Gear”

  1. Lee says:

    Any suggestions about how to effect the transfer into the subconscious? Or does it always follow automatically at some point with you?

  2. john baker says:

    It’s a miracle. I think it comes from pushing the envelope. You get down and write and refuse to give up. Somewhere around the point you finally think there’s no reason to go on it begins to come. Your back has to be up against the wall, though. Either that or it comes as a kind of gift, quite early in the whole process, you realise that its flowing through you.
    Whatever, until that transfer is made, so that the characters and the themes and whatever else you’re working on, somehow take you over, you’re not really in charge.

  3. Lee says:

    ‘Your back up against the wall’ – yeah, that sounds quite right, and very familiar.