Originally written as guest blog for In The Next Room book reviews on May 4 2012
There are almost 90,000 words in “Sound of the Heart”. Isn’t that wild? This blog post is less than 500. And yet as I was writing, there were so many more. I had to edit it back. So it kind of begs the question: Where do all those words come from?
Ah. I’m so glad you asked. Because that’s something I’d like to know as well!
It’s probably easiest to start with the physical. When I write, I head into my quiet office (which my husband assembled for me) with a cup of tea. I light a couple of candles … then stare at my computer screen.
Tour from left:
Right. Now onto the writing part. Like I said, I stare at the computer screen, and I kind of wait. I think, in a way, I meditate, though there are no ohms or soothing imaginings going on in my world.
Actually, my dog, Murphy, occasionally does ohms. Kind of like a “Poor me, what a hard life I lead” kind of a comment.
Then the words start flowing, and it’s absolute magic. Sometimes the pictures are so clear in my head, I feel like I’m channelling the stories. Words literally fly out of my fingers. It’s kind of interesting, because a few people have suggested I carry around a tape recorder kind of thing so I can just speak into it and type out stories later, but I’ve found I can’t do that. The words get stuck in my brain. So I have to type. Back in 1990 I bought one of those “Typing Tutor” programmes, then taught myself to type when I was applying for a job as a marketing assistant at a top advertising agency in Toronto. Seriously. In two weeks I went from 0 to 85 wpm. I have no idea how quickly I type now, but my fingers move more quickly than my brain most of the time. I can’t carry on much of a conversation with my voice, but if I could type it I’d be just fine!
So the question remains: where do all those words come from?
And the answer is still: “I don’t know.”
My favourite part about writing Historical Fiction is that no one can tell me what I’m writing didn’t actually happen. After all, no one alive today was alive then (unless you’re talking about reincarnation or something). The stories come to me from somewhere I’ve never been, giving me words I rarely use in my day to day life. Where do they come from? What if I am actually channelling them? What if the words come straight from the stories themselves because … maybe, just maybe, they really happened.