In his watershed writing memoir, On Writing, Stephen King discussed his process. Early on, when I’m getting the draft down, I write with the door shut.
I’m active in two very dynamic writers‘ groups and I regularly bring material for critiquing. But not the first time around. The door-shut time around. A novel is complicated and confusing enough with one writer trying to juggle everything. I can only have my head filled with so many voices at a time, and the first draft belongs to the fictional voices–my characters. This is where they take on a life of their own, but the magic only works if I shut the door and listen.
How do you write? Door open? Door shut?
Door shut !
I am in complete agreement about that – I need to hear everyone and sort out where they are going without outside “help” VBG !
Shut de Doah! Shut de doah! Someones in da kitchen!
I can see a lot of value in meeting with others and getting input from each other …but so far writing is something I do in private …and it is only in the last year that I have shared any of it with anyone but the home team!
I can’t talk to anyone about the characters until I’m at least a few chapters in. Never thought of it as ‘door shut’ but I LOVE that saying!
I’ve always liked to be alone. This is why I’ll never be a writer by trade. I get paranoid that people are going to read what I’m writing. Best case, I then tailor what I’m writing to an audience. Worst case, I think that what I’m writing is trash and no one should be able to see it. I don’t mind editing with others around, but I need to write at least a first draft by myself or with a door shut.
Oh, I wanted to add that On Writing is one my all-time favorite books. I love that Stephen King never takes himself too seriously and is a reader as well as a writer. I look forward to his columns in Entertainment Weekly (though I’ve grown to like Dalton Ross and Diablo Cody as well).
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating with this photo: Jay has an absolutely incredible eye.
Shut. It’s a draft and one stops draft by shutting the door, eh?
But then, but then.
Crack the door open, then fling it wide.
As Garth says, art is not a monologue, but a dialogue.
Someone must react to the piece. Artist can consider the reaction.
Good stuff, all.