Pen and Paper Bring Forth the Monster

Like most mornings this year, I find myself alone in a Starbucks. I’m not even alone is some philosophical  alone-in-a-crowded-room sort of way. Apparently, there aren’t too many people about at 6AM.  Today is actually quite pleasant for the writer in me. Spring storms are in the Chicago area this morning, bringing thunder, lightening and rain. This is the best weather for reading and writing. It’s the kind of day where I long for a little reading nook, but this table will have to do.

There’s something about the soft roar of the sky and the sudden shock of light in the darkness that makes you feel alive during a thunderstorm. This is the natural music of our world.

Perhaps that natural feeling is what brings out the writer in me. Writing is my natural state, after all. Among the many goals I set for 2014, the most important is the completion of my novel’s first draft.  So far, I have a beginning, middle and end planned out, three chapters written and concepts for the next two chapters waiting to be brought to life.

2014-03-03 19.06.28

This story begs to be written. I started with the most basic plot and have been pleased to watch it grow into a sort of monster. In the morning, it drags me out of bed at 5AM. It whispers the most enticing tales in to my ear when I am driving, in the shower or almost asleep. As I work diligently with pen in paper to bring the monster’s essence into this world, it holds my attention with visions, leaving me to wonder if there is any way to transcribe this other world my eyes perceive onto paper.

The self-doubt can become crippling. With the pen shaking in my hand, I stare at the last written sentence. Everything in me wants to scribble away the horror, but I let it remain. I write on, knowing whatever comes from my hands is in its infancy. Soon, pen and paper will be forgotten, exchanged for a neatly typed and edited document.

Soon, so long as I never give in and keep that pen moving, I will have the pleasure of releasing my creation on the world.

 ____

Writing this sort of made me feel villainous, so I thought I’d share one of my favorite villain themes.

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34 thoughts on “Pen and Paper Bring Forth the Monster”

    1. Actually, I wake up at 5am and get to the cafe around 6 – 6:30. In January, I tried waking at 4am, but that quickly killed me. 5am seems to be going okay so long as I know when I need to sleep in.

  1. Got to love the Final Fantasy franchise. gosh the memories.
    Nice writing and sharing of a novel in the making. It is on times those moments we get lost in our own minds and forget where we are as the ink spills across the paper.
    It is both a blessing and a curse 😀 the words we read after.
    keep on smiling.

    1. Oh man, to this day, I am still obsessed with Final Fantasy. If I say anymore, I won’t stop talking about it (What was your favorite game?)

      A blessing and a curse, that is the life of a writer. That probably contributes to the fact that most writers are a little crazy (I have yet to meet someone who considers themselves a writer and seems 100% sane).

      1. Ha ha should I tell you 7 but loved playing them all. I used to have them all on disk for pc. Including the early ones that game has come a long way can’t wait for the new one.

        And then the crazy animation as well. Killer.

        And yeah I am crazy and i know it. so try to act normal please 😀 around me

        1. Seven gets too much love if you ask me. It was a great game, but it’s in 5th place for me. IX is my favorite. I played a lot of the early ones on my Gameboy, although I had V and VI for the first playstation.

          1. true it gets to much love.it is also the one who got all credit as it started the hype.
            I played the playstation 1 aswell. I thought it was a crime one had to own a playstation to play it. that changed with 7. and up. though I believe IX was the first to come on all platforms.
            Which was a great one. and just like that from the head the first with a leading role for the lady.

            haha only getting started huh 😛

            1. I hear 7 described as ‘the game that sold the playstation’ because you had to have one to play it. All games through 10 were playstation exclusive. 11 was for the PC (but could be adapted to the playstation) 12 was a playstation exclusive and 13 was the first to be on multiple systems (but not all because you can’t get it for the Wii).

              VI was lead by a woman. Terra was the main character of that one. I love VI. I almost thought it was my favorite, but I just can’t let go of IX. If I felt it was fair, I’d say the two tie as my favorites.

              Oh no…. see… I could just keep going on about this franchise. I need to keep my nerdiness in check.

                1. Me too ^_^

                  Final Fantasy is my favorite fandom and I don’t get to talk about it as much as I’d like. It’s honestly a struggle not to fill this blog with nerdy discussions.

    1. It is SO hard. I’ve actually been thinking of writing a post about the four people who really believe in my writing. For most, it’s just a thing I do. The people who think I can actually accomplish this are rare.

      But, if you want my advice, when you sit to write your story, turn off spell check. Turn off everything that automatically corrects your work. Just get it all out. Your first draft will stick to high heaven, but that’s okay. The story is written and you can make it beautiful with edited.

      For me, the tiny errors on the computer were too much. I’m using old-fashioned pen and paper for my first draft. I like that method better and it feels good to scribble when I have to get rid of something. It also makes it easier to make notes about what you want to happen. Obviously, my self-doubt is still there, but this has been working for me.

      1. Good advice! I think it is easier to let go when using pen and paper since typing seems so much more official, whereas scribbling in your notebook you can make all kinds of mistakes.
        A big problem for me though is moreso thinking of a plot. I talk myself out of them a lot. Or, I think they sound cool until the next day when I look over it or think about it again and I’m like, “Wow. My ideas are awful.”

        1. A good does of self-doubt is good for you, so long as you don’t let it cripple you. Here are two more pieces of advice

          1) write out the plot as you now see it, knowing it will change. Trust me, it will change. It will probably change many times before you finish. That’s part of the process
          2) you have nothing to worry about. The day you think your ideas are genius is the day to be worried. In my short experience blogging, the stuff I thought was stupid ended up turning into some of my most popular posts. On this flip side, the stuff I thought was genius tended to be received poorly. It’s all part of the game.

  2. Very well-written. Thank you for sharing! I wish I could get up at 5 a.m. to write first thing in the morning. Instead, I have to get up at 5 a.m. to get ready for work and MAYBE get to working on my novel sometime around 6. :-\ Keeping pushing through!

    1. The reason I picked the morning is, among other things, because that’s when I have time. I’m always busy and/or tired in the evening so it never gets done. I’m alert and ready to go (usually) when I wake in the morning, so it just made sense. In January, I tried waking at 4am, but that killed me. What I need to work on now is knowing when 5am is fine and when I need to get a little more rest.

    1. YAY FINAL FANTASY! FFVIII is in third place in my book (sorry), but it’s a fantastic game. I really loved the story and the music. It has my favorite opening of all the games. I know some people who hated VIII, though. I have no idea why?

      *end of nerdy rant*

      And thanks for the compliments on the prose. I hadn’t written on my writing aspirations for a while, so I really wanted to put this out there. Thanks for reading.

  3. i envy that you at least have the courage to take the pen to paper and set your monster free… i am bound by a billion thoughts, ideas and directions that i want to go in each of the story ideas i have in my head…that i dont know which one to start with and which ones to shelve

    1. I had that same problem. Take a day and write all your ideas down. That helped me a lot. Then, you can choose one and know that you can always add more notes of other ideas. Regardless, you have given all your ideas a physical existence. It helps.

    1. Thanks. The photo thing didn’t work well for me. I’m just not much of a photographer. I do like to consider myself a lover of words, however, so the quotes made sense. I’m happy you like them.

  4. Ohhhh I relate so much.
    Huzzah for first draft in 2014! That was such a soft goal for me in January, I wouldn’t even say it out loud, but lately I’ve been making some nutsish goals and I’m going for it. 😀 20-page pre-graduation research paper in the fall may change things, but that’s only more incentive to work like a crazy person this summer.

    1. nutsish goals is what it’s all about! I’m still sticking to my idea. I’ve told some people and have a handful of supporters. It’s still hard as hell, especially when you work 8+ hours a day, have a lively social life and a crazy awesome blog to take care of. Screw the graduation paper (except don’t forget to do it) and get to writing!

      1. Hah! Yeah, I only work about 20 hours a week, but I’m in school full time as well, and I refuse to break my 4.0 in the last year of college, so that sucks up quite a bit of time.
        I won’t say my social life is all that lively, but it’s much livelier than it used to be. Especially if you count blogging, which I do! WordPress has been good for finding supporters. My friend Rose (who also has a writing blog now) has been unflagging for ten years, since I was a wee mite, but I was running out of other people who were familiar with the project, so I’m looking forward to mutual cheerleading with several new WordPress friends.
        My novel is sci-fi and I’ve been looking for a good tag to use, I always get a lot of hits on writing posts but so far I haven’t found a tag sci-fi writers in particular are actively using. I’m going to try to build one up at some point if I can’t find one.

        1. I did the same thing in college. I averaged about 17 semester hours of classes, worked 20-25 hours a week and had a club I was regularly participating in. For the most part, all other hobbies outside of those three things were set aside during those four years. Now, I’m trying to play catch up with all my hobbies, writing included.

          I’m hesitant to put a label on my story right now. I suppose it would best be described as fantasy right now… but it would be easy to tweak it and make it about a future world. At this point, nothing is set in stone. I just want this draft done so I can type and edit it. At that point, I’ll feel comfortable putting labels on it.

          1. I’ve been the president of the Amnesty International club for a couple years, and I enjoyed it, but I’m soooo glad I’m finally getting to turn it over to someone else. I was in that zone where I was spending SO MUCH time on it, and yet I didn’t have enough time to give to really accomplish what we wanted to accomplish on campus.

            That sounds cool!

        1. Haha, I will make sure to keep that in mind. I get a little nervous about posting specifics related to my story, though. Perhaps this is big-headed of me, but I’m afraid of my ideas being stolen. Still, I can tell you that I’m three chapters in and make sure to add #Novelin2014 ^_^

          1. 😀 I wouldn’t post huge excerpts, but I actually feel like specifics are less likely to get abducted than general ideas, and if somebody takes my general idea and actually manages to finish a book about it, their book would end up completely different.

  5. We just got a bout of thunder and lightning here tonight too. However, It’s very warm in my house, yet outside it’s cooled down quite nicely.
    Girl, you are brave. 5:00 am. I have never woken up at that time because I wanted to.
    🙂

    1. I never have either, until I decided to get serious about this book writing thing. I don’t have any time or motivation in the evenings, so the morning makes the most sense.

  6. I really like that paragraph that includes the soft roar of the sky. sometimes even with something that you might think is the worst, you can actually pull out good stuff from it. with novel writing it’s more like automatic writing. now when you do get that novel done, you will have to come to a decision about an agent or self promoting it yourself. agents come in handy if you aren’t a crowd mover. but one has to be picky about them as well.

    1. I know! There are so many things to think about. I’m trying to focus on one thing at a time. None of that other stuff will help until all the other steps are complete. The draft is the most important right now. It don’t even have to be good, it just has to be written. I’ll make it good when I edit it.

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