Master of Horror

November 9: The Workings of the Mind of a Writer

It’s of eternal interest to me how the human mind works: note that here, I am talking about the subconscious, and not that part of us that goes on thinking with our own connivances at play.
i found myself stuck, yesterday, at the 20,000 word mark of a story, and faced with the possibility that it would be a novella and not a full-length novel. i wanted to make it full-length as I’m sitting on my fifty-ninth so far, and wanted to go for the even 60.
i put it away overnight, and when i awoke this morning and began typing away, there it was, all laid out and ready to go for the full length of some 40-50,000 words. All i had to do was type what I was seeing in my mind’s eye, describe the scenes accurately, and create the dialogue, and there was the key to extending the story for the full length.
i have to confess here that I never consciously plan a novel – i see the first few scenes, perhaps, and the rest is there, waiting for me, when i awaken early the next morning, which i think is a good way to work as it means each scene is as fresh to the writer, never having consciously been aware of it before, as it will be to the reader. And i do think readers can sense a fresh scene from a ‘stale’ one, that has lain around in the skull for some time before being dragged out into the light of day and given life.Anyway, that’s how I work. and as long as it keeps working for me, along with whatever research I need to do, I shall keep working that way.
Adrian Scott


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