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Friday, 6 February 2009

The first write of the day

One of the things I find about writing early in the morning is that my focus seems closer. As I stare at a page of type and wait for that first cup of tea to kick in, it feels as though my head has a magnifying glass strapped to it. Maybe this is because I'm still half-asleep at 6.15 and so tend to stare at each sentence much longer than I would ordinarily - still edging out of snooze-mode - but I've found it a productive time in terms of cutting out redundant words and phrases, swapping sentences around, and spilling tea across a paragraph or two to discover a new emphasis in that section of writing.

Sometimes, I work through my scribbled notes of an evening or at the weekend and decide to keep the original version, wondering what on earth I was dreaming about when I deleted a sentence or rephrased it, but on the whole the changes usually stay. Quite often, though, in that first session, I'll notice something about a character's tone or behaviour that will lend itself to other, richer possibilities, which is when I reach out for another notepad to start mapping these possibilities, realising full well that I'm going to be late for work again and that draft #32 can no longer be the final draft.

4 comments:

Mike French said...

I know what you mean. I seem to have a clearer head early in the morning - almost if a nights sleep has spring cleaned my brain and processed all my thoughts leaving me clear to write.

gary davison said...

Count me in for the morning sessions. It's the only time I can write. no thoughts of the day to trouble you just the mad dreams to contend with!

the Amateur Book Blogger said...

And past 11pm is my element, which is unfortunate since I rarely get an unbroken night's sleep and am up at 6am. It's dark, silent, and endless - unlike the morning when I know my little ones will be awake any second and then there's no hope (for writing anyway)...

Jane Turley said...

Yes, I find mornings very productive - provided I don't get distracted by emails!

It is difficult to be creative when kids are around as they tend to break one's chain of thought. I've learnt to block them out to a certain extent although my third ear is always listening for the tell tale sounds of trouble! (Which is mainly too much silence - the last time this happened Master Benedict was building a small fire in the garden next to the gas cannister for the barbecue - I kid you not!)

I am really a good mother you know; it's just well...boys... are so much trouble....