The Madwoman's Journal
Copyright 1998 New Moon
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  Prev 28 September 98

  Yes, I know. Everyone thinks I was just lolling in bed today. But I wasn't. I was writing.

Writing is a strange process. I had the idea for this story months ago, but there was no writing I could do on it. The idea was just there, flitting about in my mind. Every once in a while I would pull it to the front and play with it, think about the premise, think about details, think about the characters, but I didn't write anything. Couldn't. There was nothing to write.

Last night, though, Sunday night, the characters started talking while I was sitting at the kitchen table writing in my Journal. I listened hard, and wrote down the conversation they were having. It wasn't easy at first, but it got easier as I listened. And after a while, I was there, and I could see what was going on. I was up until six in the morning following them around, watching and listening. It's rather like being a spy-- or voyeur, more like, since I admit I enjoy the job and I've never found it boring.

By six I had pages and pages of conversation and prose and the Journal entry-- whatever it was-- was long forgotten, and I was getting a headache, so I went-- very reluctantly-- to bed. The alarm went off at ten-thirty, and I would've gotten up, but the characters were up and stirring before me, and, voyeur that I am, I didn't want to disturb them, so I stayed put and kept quiet, watching and listening. It was very, very interesting.

When I did get up, I had a hundred questions that needed answers, a hundred facts to check-- you'd think that fiction writing wouldn't be fact and reality intensive, wouldn't you? 'Fraid not. Good fiction requires verisimilitude, and that means check the facts and get it right. I learn more about the world and its workings writing one short story than I ever learned in school. Writing, if you do it right, is an Education.

And a lot of hard work. But the story is begun. I don't know whether I'm writing a novel or a screenplay, yet-- both? But I'll keep you posted.





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