Thursday, March 11, 2010

Getting into the zone: What goes into the creative process of writing.

Today is part two of the blog series: How Writers Do It: A Writing Process Series. The book I'm using is Sol Stein's Stein On Writing. I didn't have the book in my hands last week, and this week I have it with two more on the way - I know you're wondering why. Well, I ordered it and found out it would be two weeks before it arrived so I ordered from a different place; it shipped but I haven't seen it, so finally the other bookstore got one in and I bought it. On the bright side, I'll be able to exchange one of them for Hourglass

Stein's book
is a book of usable solutions-how to fix writing that is flawed, how to improve writing that is good, how to create interesting writing in the first place.
My favorite chapter title is: Competing With God: Making fascinating people. But I'm digressing from today's topic, um, actually I haven't even started today's topic. Oops.

What goes into the creative writing process? Obviously thought and imagination would top that list because without ideas there is no need to write. Stein has an entire chapter devoted to using all six senses. But wait - we only have five senses, right? Stein goes on to tell us how to develop our sixth sense as a writer.

Close your eyes. Imagine who is in the room with you. Turn all the lights on. There's no one here. Good. You can relax. Is your watch ticking louder than usual, or are you imagining it? Why is today different from other days, what is supposed to happen? Why isn't the phone ringing? If it does ring, who will it be? Close your eyes again. Are you sure someone isn't in the room with you? What if you're wrong? What if it's...?
He goes on to say that it doesn't take much to develop that imagination.

There is a lot that goes into the creative process of writing. The place we write, the music we listen to, the way our stories come to us. It differs from writer to writer. What works for one may not work for another. What goes into your creative process? Go here to find links to the other writers blogging in this series, comment and do your own blog for a chance to win.

Happy blogging!


  1. Does he have a name for his sixth sense? Because if I did that exercise, my sixth sense would be "extreme paranoia." LOL

  2. My imagination already gets the best of me when I'm alone. I saw Candyman over ten years ago and still get freaked out looking in the mirror sometimes. I agree with Kate, a sixth sense would paralyze me. :-)

  3. I think I might already have that sixth's the one that has me convinced my neighbor just might be a serial killer and that there are actual THINGS that go bump in the night. Hmm...wayward kind of creeps up on you! lol

  4. That's my sixth sense? All along I thought I had lack of focus!

  5. OMG, all of you are just as paranoid as my husband--insane! Lol...those comments really cracked me up!

    Hey, maybe I can get Jenn to send me one of her books in trade for something--I love that book! I don't remember that sixth sense bit though....does he see dead people?

  6. Well, I'm good at that sixth sense stuff, although I usually call it paranoia too. And yeah. Mostly it's something that distracts me from writing rather than something that inspires it. I'll have to try and make it work in my favour more :-)

    It's been aaaages since I read Stein on Writing. I really should reread it one of these days.

  7. Ha! You guys, when the DH goes on all his field studies, I usually end up sleeping with the lights on if I'm even able to sleep at all. My stupid imagination conjures all sorts of horrible things. Paranoid = ME!

  8. what a great post. i love that i might have a sixth sense ;)


    thanks for sharing and best of luck with your writing!!


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