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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thursday Spotlight: Devyn Quinn

I'm not a writer who writes every day. I'm not even a writer who writes every month. I'm a writer who has to let the story sit, to percolate, until it's ready to be written. And then I write. I finished my last full book at the end of Jan 09. Since that time I haven't written a word. Not because I couldn't be writing. Not because I don't know the plot of my next book. The simple fact of the matter is that the book is not ready to be written. And until it's ready, I won't be writing a single word.

Why is that?

It's just the way things come together in my mind, I guess. Once I have settled on a plot, I need to let it perk in my mind. It needs to boil, bubble, toil and trouble for a bit. The characters need to grow, mature and form. I need to think about them, have conversations with them. Get to know the people inhabiting that stage in my mind where their tale will unfold. Until I reach the point, I don't write. I don't care how close to deadline it is, how many days have ticked away where I have done nothing constructive. Until a book is ready to be written, I won't write it. It will tell me when it's ready, let me know when it is time to put the things in my mind on paper.

Until then, nada.

A lot of writers have various ways they approach their craft. There is a ritual, a few magic things that must be at hand before actual writing can commence. I, for instance, have to have a few things within easy reach. This includes a several pieces of blank white paper and very sharp pencils. When I am writing on the computer, I often stop typing and write things out by hand, testing to see how it looks on the page. I suppose I could accomplish the same thing on the screen, but sometimes I need to write things out and arrange them on paper before I commit them to type on the screen. It gives me a way to fool around without actually committing myself to any certain structure or dialogue. Another thing I insist on is having my music loaded and ready to play. Since joining the digital revolution, I've put all my music on the computer in MP3 format. That way it is all right there and ready for selection. I need my music to write by, certain types of music for certain types of scenes. I have themes and playlists for every scenario, from murder and mayhem to sexy rhythms for those heat between the sheets scenes. If I am not in the mood, how can my characters be?

Another thing I need at hand is something to drink. Though I am a Red Bull junkie, I have tried to cut that habit out. I can drink a six pack, no problem. Same with soft drinks, coffee, etc... Except all that stuff is bad for you. I've tried to switch to diet soft drinks or bottled water, just to be a bit healthier. Sometimes though, I have serious work to do and I've got to reach for the Red Bull and damn the overdose of energy drink.

And since my deadline for my next book is creeping up in May, I'll be sitting down to write and reaching for the tools that will allow me to get cracking on my next book.

1 comment:

Julie Robinson said...

Hi Devyn,

It's so interesting to know this and to know I am not the only one who still likes to write things out manually. When my DH asks why I always have to have tea or coffee or water next to me, I tell him it's that oral fetish problem I have!!

But most of all, I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who doesn't write everyday. I have to think about it all. And people who tend to tell me that I must not want to write or that I'm not serious as a writer since I don't do it everyday make me feel guilty. I try to say that I'll write when I'm ready to write it, or rather when the story or scene is ready to come out. But they want to know all the conflict and everything about it when I'm not ready to verbalize it. It has to be sorted in my head first.

I feel a huge sense of relief in knowing this about you, a published author. In some way, feeling guilty, feeling pressured has caused writer's block. But I don't have to prove anything to anyone.
Thank you, Devyn!!