Monday, October 21, 2013

Singular Thinking by Linda S. Glaz

When sitting in an office 24/7, which a lot of us do for the most part, we have to consider that we are being very singular in many aspects.
A lot of writers are outgoing, but then must sit behind a computer for a good share of their day.
Let’s look at a couple things:
First, writing requires life experiences to be able to create ‘real’ characters.
Second, it’s imperative for writers to interact with other people in order to understand what’s going on in the world. And different social media formats don’t replace actual interaction with humans.
As writers, we want that time with our computers. Where else can a person hunt and peck, creating imaginary lives, personalities, and scenarios that will come alive on someone’s ebook or in a printed book?
There needs to be a balance that allows us to keep living as well as bring that incredible life to our characters which requires the long hours on the computer.
How do you balance your time as a writer? What do you do to be sure you are interacting with ‘normal’ people?
How many hours a week/day do you give to your craft?
Do you allow time to learn new aspects of your craft through critique groups, classes, etc.?
OR, are you the 24/7 writer who never lifts his head from the sand to see what’s going on in the world around you?


David B. Smith said...

You’re so right about the critical advantage that comes from simply living – or perhaps we should say deliberately living. It’s when we leave the laptop and go browse the books or DVDs at Costco that we encounter some funky character whose color finds its way into the newest manuscript. I’m thankful to spend my weekends writing, and my weekdays in front of math classrooms at a community college. So I’m constantly bathed in story ideas and offbeat personalities.

It’s also helpful to simply have good recall for those poignant, special moments that can fill out a scene. Way back in 1970, I was a 15-year-old kid returning to the U.S. from boarding school in Singapore. My family was attending a church convocation in Atlantic City; as luck would have it, my girlfriend’s family was there too. Woo hoo! We spent foggy June afternoons ditching the meetings and walking up and down the boardwalk. A booming set of speakers above the carousel (this is pre-casino New Jersey) was playing the haunting ballad, “Lazy Day,” by the Moody Blues. It’s a vivid, tender memory to this day: walking arm in arm (parents out of view), savoring the joy of being in America after years away, the twin teen pleasures of rock and roll and a sweet bit of PDA. More than forty years later, as I was scoping out a love scene for “Sue Baines” in my second Bangkok romance novel, that song came rushing back and perfected a goodbye vignette at LAX.

Thanks for the great post.

Linda Glaz said...

What a beautiful memory to put into a story.