"Sammy, shush, I've already told your story. Yes, I know it wasn't a long story and you have more to say. Patience my pet." Gazing at the blank screen, I knew I had to write something, and soon.
'Write about me,' Sam mutters quietly into my ear.
"No, I can't write about you. It's got to be a paranormal this time." I admonished the purple clad character. "Why don't you go and see if Cyn needs anything."
'She doesn't. She at home with that man of hers.'
"Well, you should be with yours. I'm sure Greg would love the company." Greg was Sammy's fella. They'd moved in together and that was the story Sammy wanted me to write. Ugh!
'What about me,' grumbled Rose, her scarred fingers pointing towards herself. 'I definitely have more story to tell. It's been months, Hell, years since you worked with me.'
"Yes, sweetie, I know and I definitely want to get to you, very soon. But, I really have to--"
'Have to what? Create new characters, new stories, new plots and scenarios? But, you have more to say about me...us!'
Rose was definitely pissed, as she should be. It had been way too long since I spent any time with her.
I read the call for submissions again, and wondered why I'd volunteered to write for this one. I knew nothing about the seamier side of San Francisco. I'd only been there for part of one day.
'I've been there,' yelled Amber, yet one more character who thought needed more story time. 'That's where that bastard Tony snagged me.'
"That wasn't San Francisco," I glared at...nothing and cringed. Bugger, I was beginning to fall into these conversations a little too easily of late.
I left the computer room and went for more coffee. Maybe I needed to get out for awhile. It'd been weeks since I just walked the beach or even watched an entire movie without letting 'those guys' distract me.
Today was like any other. I got up, did my morning routine, fed the birds and took Meg, my sister in laws dog out for her morning pee. Played with her for a little bit then got the computer going. Coffee in hand, I went through the usual avalanche of email and messages.
After yacking with my writing partner about some FANTASTIC news we got earlier, it was time to get busy. That's pretty much how most of my mornings go. Okay, Meg doesn't live here, but the rest is fairly typical. It's that blank page that intimidates me. I have ideas enough to fill a truck, but how to begin is always daunting. That first sentence. Does it work? Add another and read them. Delete words, add others. Save. Add another sentence or two, three, a paragraph, a page.
Going back to the beginning, time after time, re-writing, trashing, slashing, wondering if I really have a clue what Im doing. Doubting it, myself. What the HELL do I think I'm doing?
The idea forms, solidifies. Time to actually come up with a rough draft, a concept of where this stinking story is going. I'm liable to wind up in the bay diving for some treasure that's not there. Synapsis, yeah, that's it. Do a synopsis so I can follow it and actually write the thing. Chapter by chapter, that's how I like to do these. I keep it flexible, but it gives me the direction.
That first page might work. Might not. Hate the names, but I'll change those until they fit. Characters have to fit their names you know. Ask Sammy, his name changed a dozen times before I liked it, and he wasn't even the main character.
'Yeah, I thought Cyn was going to strangle you,' he piped up from behind me.
"Yeah well, I had no idea you were going to be so damn pushy either. I thought you were a whishy washy type."
'Me? Do I look like the wishy washy type?' He prances around to the center of the room and strikes a pose. Purple suit, ruffles at collar and cuff.
I peered at him and smiled. "Sammy, you look like a queer with a penchants for flamboyance. Nothing wishy washy about you."
'Which is exactly me.'
"Go see Greg, would you? I really need to get busy here."
Poof, and Sammy is gone, for now.
See, this is how things happen for me. I'd like to think I was organized. Sometimes I am, just not about writing. I do like to get some form of outline done for longer works. I have a lousy memory for eye colors, furniture placement and such. I have been known to keep a spread sheet going for that kind of thing. It helps. When you add the number of characters I've helped create over the years, I find it next to impossible to keep them all straight. Yet, I often remember things about them and wonder how their lives are going. Are Sammy and Greg really as happy as I left them. Did Rose find peace? Are the changelings all right. Jamie, do they bother you like they do me?
I do keep a schedule of sorts so I don't volunteer for two things that need to be done at the same time. Other than that, I panic a lot. The actual process is different each time. Different characters bother me, different scenarios present themselves. It's always new. Always fresh, and I love every moment of it.
I had a teacher in high school tell me that all serious writers are crazy. I wonder if he's right? What do you think?