|Stephen King lets 'the back-room boys'|
sort out his literary problems
That's not true for all writers. My friend Professor Raymond Leonard, who has written several science fiction novels, approaches his writing in a very methodical and scientific manner.
He has the plot and all the characters in advance, and even knows exactly how many chapters there will be. Ray then writes a synopsis for each chapter, and works from that, enlarging and creating the text.
That's not how it works for me.
I had the seed for the plot of Stench of Evil (see my blog Stench of Evil - satanic ritual abuse ), three main characters and that was all. The thing had an organic growth of its own, to the extent that at times I felt it had its own life, and I was just a clerk writing it all down.
It began while we were on the island of Gozo for a couple of weeks in a friends holiday home. The August heat was almost unbearable at mid-day, but the views across the bay to Comino were spectacular, and in the villages they were preparing for their annual firework festival. A perfect environment for writing. Linda spent most of the days scuba diving with a local club, and I was working on Stench of Evil. She'd return late afternoon and we' d walk down to the restaurants and bars in Qala.
I was about a third through the novel (although I didn't know that at the time) when I lost control of the story.
|I lost control to some minor |
characters who got above themselves
This wasn't a one-day wonder - it carried on for the next 40,000 words or so - until once again I regained control. It was as if they were saying: Okay, we've finished doing what we needed to do - you can have it back now.
The fascinating thing was that every decision they made, every plot change, every paragraph that was produced was exactly right. I couldn't have done better myself!
I'm not saying that I was producing 'automatic writing', that the story was 'channelled' through me by a spirit or demon (they might want a share of the royalties), but it was a strange experience, and if nothing else it highlights how much is going on in the unconscious mind, to the extent that it can over-ride what we consciously think.
I'm well into the sequel; The Devil In Them, and so far my ghost writers haven't wrestled it from me. There's still some surprises when I write, but I don't feel the loss of control I had with Stench of Evil. Perhaps now they think I can be trusted to do a good job on my own - or maybe they're still there, rubbing shoulders with me, making changes here and there, hoping I'll believe it's all my own work.
Read my paranormal thriller; Stench of Evil available only from Amazon:
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