Thursday, January 14, 2010

Is writing a discovery?

"Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say."
Sharon O'Brien

This quote totally made me laugh, mostly because it's so true. Sometimes the sentences and scenes that spill onto the computer screen surprise me and even shock me. One time, I wrote something and I was like, I can't believe I just wrote that, because it was something that I wouldn't say but my character took over and, well, I was along for the ride. How about you? What's the process like? Do scenes flash before you like scenes from a movie? Do you hear voices in your head? Conversations?
I know when I wrote Freaky Frank, a humorous middle-grade for boys, I cracked up the entire time. It was so much fun to write and when I was done, man, I was sad. I wanted to hang with Frank longer. He's a pretty cool kid. When I shared some passages with my teenage sons and husband, they were like, And you think that's funny? And I'm like, it's totally funny. How can you NOT think boogies and farts are funny. I must be weird. Or maybe stuck in a 12-year-old's body. Anyway, loved to read your thoughts.


  1. Yes, my scenes run exactly like a movie. Usually when I wake in the morning, I play though different scenes and they seem to come more to life for me then. I run through other options for dialogue. Maybe my brain is looser or more relaxed.

  2. I write MG too, and I'm often surprised by what my characters talk about. They're funny kids. I love that we never know what it will be until the words come. :)

  3. Terri and Natalie, thanks for your comments. Best of luck with your writing.

  4. I've seen that quote before, and completely agree! While I have some sense of where I'm going, I feel like the way the words come out isn't always from conscious thought.