FIVE ESSENTIAL THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN WRITING FICTION
By Barbara Angela Kealy
Being a Fiction Author is an exciting life. You can drift off at any time into a world of wonderment, enjoyment and excitement. It is vital to let your imagination run wild, conjuring up all sorts of plots, twists and characters. You have a licence to Daydream.
Don’t get me wrong, it is hard work, but as a choice, passion and commitment, it brings many rewards. It’s all about setting yourself up for the best possible scenario in which to write those magical words as you fill-up the white space.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then let me share with you five essentials I remember to engage in before I start writing my fiction.
Taking time out to daydream and ponder about what I will eventually write is very important for me, although I have found that many of my ideas tend to come to mind when I least expect them. There have been several occasions when my imagination has alerted me of a provocative idea. Sometimes when I have been driving somewhere, sitting in the hairdresser or trying to sleep in the middle of the night – inconvenient to say the least but, always pleasurably welcome because without the incredible imagination there would be no fictional stories to read.
There have been many flashing alerts that I have been unable to record or make a note of at the exact time. There was also some plausible reason because of where I was, what I was doing or just not having a ballpoint pen at my disposal. I now carry with me a small notepad and a ballpoint pen to make sure I will not miss my imagination’s flashes of wisdom.
I have an actively engaged and occupied life, working three days a week and having a home and husband to care for and support. I am also an Artiste member of The Lissenden Olde Tyme Music Hall group in North London which performs monthly shows to a motivated audience. I have a full social life, meeting friends and family regularly for dinner, theatre or an excellent cup of coffee and a pleasant tete-a-tete. With all this to focus on, it is surprising that I find the time to continue to write. To do this, I have to be very firm disciplined with myself and put aside a certain amount of time, away from my busy life, to accomplish the goals I have set myself – to write fiction.
Writing Fiction or any other genre does not always work to a timetable. Unfortunately, ideas do not come on demand. How wonderful would that be if they did? I have often sat quietly at my computer in my little office at home with positive intentions to continue writing the sequel to my debut novel, Double Deception, only to find my mind was completely blank. My imagination was unavailable, playing truant if you like. I had this particular time put aside to continue my writing, and although my keyboard beckoned my fingers, no words were forthcoming.
I have learned over the short time I have been writing; one has to be prepared to write when the ideas flow. This opportunity cannot always take place because, as I have mentioned previously, life can invariably encumber our intentions. One way to overcome this is to carry a Dictaphone around with you. Nowadays you can easily record on your mobile phone too. Either way, it is about as the old scouts said, “Be Prepared!”
3. Special Place to Write
I imagine successful writers of any genre lead a privileged lifestyle. I envisage they own beautiful spacious homes where they can hide away from the world to write to their heart’s content, surrounded by luxury and comfort.
For me, I have a small office-cum-dressing room in my home, which is my special place where I like to write. This unique place has a light coloured wooden desk on which my computer sits waiting patiently for me. Still, there is another part to my special place that consists of closets full of colourful, glamorous dresses, cloaks, hats and shoes—the drawers overflowing with costume jewellery, scarves, and gloves together with all manner of make-up. Beautiful feather boas of every colour and hue flow from satin covered hangers, longing to be chosen for the next Lissenden Players Olde Tyme Music Hall show, yearning for the footlights once again. There are pictures of exotic faraway places ready to enlighten me as they sit enduringly on the brightly painted walls. These are the magical items I love having around me to inspire and guide as my fingers begin dancing across the waiting keyboard once again.
Once I have encased myself in my special place, I make sure the telephones and mobiles are off. I inevitably place a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the outside of the door to stop any interruptions occurring while this Author is at work.
4. Assume the Character’s Persona
When I first began to write my book, I had already assumed the two protagonists’ personas. Although many different characters spring to life within my novel, these two individuals are whom the story revolves around. Many protagonists reflect people you have met in the past.
I often reminisce about my active life and bring to mind the many colourful characters I have had the privilege to encounter and to become close friends with over the years. Because of these animated people, I can step into my daydreams and allow my imagination to run wild and collect their magical enchantment.
Occasionally as I write, my other personality manifests – my ‘inner child.’ This childlike aspect allows me to delve deeply into all my wonderful characters as I become familiar with every one of them. To me, they are like dear friends who share my life.
5. Work to a Deadline.
am guilty of one thing it is procrastination. I have always been the type of person who needs the motivation to begin and finish a project. I have often eagerly launched into something new only to walk away from it, promising myself I will return at a later date – deadly procrastination. I have learned that the best antidote to support this part of my persona is for me to work to a deadline.
Working to a deadline is the one thing that can motivate me into working when I feel less than inclined to do so.
I have realized that working to a deadline can create great excitement regarding launching and publishing of a book. Are you ready darling? Let’s go!
Barbara Angela Kealy – www.barbaraangelakealy.com
Author – Double Deception