The last posts have been heavy on the equestrian and lighter on the ink, so today I'm going to write about, well, writing. The topic is on my mind because for the past three weeks I have been working on a new project. Only if you were a fly on the wall, you would rarely see me doing anything remotely 'writerly'. I've been gardening, riding, working on lesson plans (for my teacher half) and reading about forensic science. I was starting to feel guilty (a useless emotion most of the time) about the lack of actual fingers to keys until I watched an interview with writer Aaron Sorkin. He told the interviewer that it took him six months to write the opening scene of the movie Social Network, except--he said--that if you had watched him 'writing' this scene what you would actually see him doing was sitting in front of the TV, listening to music, etc. All the writing was going on in his mind, so when he sat down to write the scene, it took him only the time to type it out to get it on paper.
Okay, I'm not as brilliant as Aaron Sorkin; however, his statement helped assuage my guilt. For the past three weeks, my brain has been working overtime, reworking the plot and structure of my next YA. Nothing is on paper except scrawled notes such as:
"Blood can be catagorized as wet blood, dry blood and spatter blood."
And "If the victim and suspect lived together, the transfer of fibers, hairs and fingerprints will be insignificant in many instances." (From The Crime Scene: How Forensics Works)
For me, this research is crucial for the new book. As the plot develops, so do my characters, dialogue and scenes--all in my head at this stage. In fact, my writing brain often works without me until suddenly a perfect idea or solution pops into consciousness, making me do a silent, "ah ha! That's how the scene needs to be written!"
For me, it's almost magic. How about you? I'd love to hear how other writers work.