Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

The Weekend Update

Not too much happened on the writing front over the weekend. We left Thursday afternoon for my brother-in-law’s house and returned yesterday. Through the magic of blogger I pre-wrote Friday’s entry on Wednesday and set it up to post Friday morning. Ah, the wonderful world of technology!
I brought my notebook with me, in the event I had some time and inspiration. Indeed, a five-hour drive does provide plenty of thinking time. No matter how much a family of four has to say to each other, you’re not going to fill up five hours of driving with constant conversation, so there was some good turnover time in my mind. I’m quite glad I finished my read-through before we left.
During a normal week at home I typically get up around 5:30 or so, which gives me about an hour before anyone else gets up to read blogs, catch up on AW, go through e-mail, pound a couple of cups of coffee and the like. For most of our visit I was getting up between seven and eight (ah, blackout curtains!). My sister-in-law and I were on roughly the same sort of schedule, getting up within about twenty minutes or so of each other. I wasn’t going to be a rude guest and bury my nose in a notebook so it was socializing time pretty much from the start of each day. But Sunday, that was nice.
I woke around 5:15 and found my mind quite occupied with my book, specifically a key scene near the end. While I lay in bed the scene played out in my head.* I sort of saw it happening while I heard simultaneous narration. Do any of you write like this? I stayed in bed for about twenty minutes letting this play out, then I got up, grabbed my notebook, went down to the kitchen and managed to write it. Last night, after we’d been home for a while, I typed it up, making some changes along the way. It’s a mere 850 words and it definitely needs some work, but it fits. Best of all, I had come to the conclusion that my main character didn’t really exhibit any outward manifestation of changes that I wanted to occur. With this change to the scene, he does, and they make sense.
And so, now I’m back and really ready to get to work. I have a lot of notes to go through, a lot of changes to consider, a lot of rewriting to do, but the break charged me up and I’m raring to go.
*I checked this against Maryn’s excellent thread on AW. I think this is grammatically correct, but man, does it look wrong!

3 Responses

  1. I didn't even know that was possible. What a cool feature!

    Yes! Though, that always seems to happen to me while I'm in the shower. Inconvenient, to say the least. Haha!

    I'm really glad that you were able to make some progress on the scene. That's always a good feeling. 🙂

  2. Yes – my best ideas come from playing out scenes in my head. The tricky part for me is trying to write the scenes out as they occur in my head – don't know if that is a problem for others.

  3. Carrie — I knew it was possible, but it took some time to figure out how to do it. And, yes, a very good feeling.

    Jennifer — It is a problem for me. I used to sit at the computer and think "No! That's not how it was when I was washing the dishes!" I'm either getting better at making the translations now or just not worrying about it quite as much. As long as the gist of it gets out, that's the important thing.

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