Welcome to my blog!

I'm a divorced mom with a teenage daughter and two pre-teen sons. Writing is my first love. When I'm not writing or working or playing taxi to the kids, I also toy with photography and baking.

So, basically, my camera rarely sees the light of day and my mixer stands in the corner in permanent time-out.

To see some samples of my writing, you can check out my website: www.csrickard.com

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Creating Fantasy Worlds

I love the creative process. I really do.

I can't convey the high I get when I'm writing or thinking through a scene and all of a sudden my mind takes off! It focuses on one, little kernel of information and sprints through a maze of thoughts morphing, merging and creating new variations or themes until it finally stops. Heart pumping with anticipation, I grab the new thought before it vanishes, then stand in awe at the evolution of that one little kernel that started it all.

I find it an absolutely amazing experience.

The process of writing is a fascinating one. Many people outline scenes or create one-line statements per chapter to keep them on target. I simply can't do that. If I did, my mind and creativity would whither and blow away.

I definitely fall into the second category. Those who sit down with a blank screen (or paper, depending upon your medium of choice) with a general idea. In my case, I knew the overall story I wanted to tell, and I knew how it would end. In fact, I had the end clearly envisioned in my mind before I wrote a single word.

Writing the first draft was like test driving a new car in a new country. I didn't know the roads, but I knew how to drive, where I wanted to go and generally how to get there. Along the way I found which roads were dead-ends, which ones were really windy and took me too far out of the way, and which ones took a bit longer, but the scenery was beautiful and well worth the extra travel time. I met some wonderful people on those roads as well as those I'd rather forget.

The first revision I thought would simply be an effort of cutting out the dead-ends and wayward routes and focusing on the direct path with a few scenic detours along the way.

That isn't all that's happening.

As I revise, images and details are emerging in my head that didn't exist before. I'm discovering a depth to the cultures I'm writing about. A history is emerging I wasn't aware of, along with some interesting myths and beliefs. The more I write, the more solid my characters become. I'm noticing quirks in them that I don't remember creating. Attitudes and prejudices are becoming more substantial.

They are becoming real.

But now I wonder...isn't hearing a bunch of voices in your head called schizophrenia? Maybe that's only if you aren't a writer.

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