Day 3 onwards and I start to completely tune out from the real world.
I’m in the car, Ruth is sitting next to me, and she knows by the gommo face I’m wearing, that I’m somewhere distant. I’m pretty sure I forewarned her this was going to happen – as soon as there’s a story taking root, I’m off to planet Zog – and from that moment she knew she’d have to repeat herself at least three times before getting a halfÂ intelligent response out of me. And she’d probably have to tell me which turning I should be taking too.
I’m no better in the office either. That meeting where I’m thoughtfully tapping my pen against my lips as my team leader is asking for suggestion to make sure that we can still manage our work if that volcano gets angry again? I’m actually in the attic of a creepy old mansion. In the corner, where the shadows are darkest, two cold eyes are watching me and a restless shape gathers itself as if ready to pounce. Yes. I have that glazed expression.
And I’ll be like that all day, probably. Excited about it. Dreaming up little scenes in my mind – small at first, but expanding into plot as I start asking questions. What’s that thing doing in there? I’ve already made my mind up it’s a ghost, but who’s the poor victim I’ve just identified with? Is he scared? Did he expect to find a ghost? Whose house is it?
My best daydreams happen when I’ve found an excuse to buy a pack of miniature cigars to puff at in the garden. I’ll be out there thinking all sorts of weird things up, linking ideas together, talking to myself and forging a backbone for the novel. And by the end of one day there’s a whole bunch of stuff doing somersaults in my head. If I don’t organise it somehow, it’ll just turn into white noise (or give me nightmares).
All that slack-jawed daydreaming will go on for days and days (poor Ruth!), so the next important step for me is to get it down as writing before I forget it all. I’m not talking about writing the novel (that’s a while off), I’m talking about organising my notes. I rarely write things by hand these days (though sometimes, if I’ve had a great idea I really don’t want to forget, I’ll scrawl it on a post-it note), instead I’ll create a few word documents:
General Notes, Research, Characters, Chapter by Chapter (which will probably end up as the synopsis).
Anything and everything that pops into my head, or any pictures or quotes that inspire me, I’ll throw into these documents. Since the early part of June these files have gradually been building and there’s quite a bit going on in there by now. Obviously I won’t be giving away spoilers, but I’ll probably share a few of these things as the days pass, most likely the research, and perhaps hints about characters.
I may as well show a snippet of that today.
You might have seen some of the discussions starting up about orbs on the facebook page. Here’s a little something I found – I had a dig around on the net after hearing at a Derek Akora session that different coloured orbs mean different things. I’ll be using that idea in the novel but with a massive difference (which I’m not telling here). Here’s one take on what the colours mean…
Next time…Â I’ll be telling you a bit about Write Club.