Saturday, January 25, 2014

Subconsious Writing

I mentioned in a NaNoPrep blog post that I like to write subconsciously and with ninjas. The ninjas aren't an every-story occurrence but I try to write subconsciously most of the time. What does that mean exactly? Well, read on fellow story-teller.

Writing subconsciously means writing without thinking about it. Now, now, I know you're asking what the HELL I'm on. I mean I've said before that you have to know what you're doing, where you're going and all that, right? That is important but you don't have to know all that in great detail. Why? Because you all ready know all that in great detail but you just don't know it yet.

Confused? Stick we me. You're going to be okay.

What I mean is that somewhere, deep in your brain, your story is all ready planned. Your characters know their fate, the bad guy knows his plan will ultimately fail (or not), and your world has all ready moved on from the event that you're writing. In the far recesses of your brain that story has been told and you just haven't read and recorded it yet.

You have to remember that you're a story-teller. A recorder, if you will, and a mere means for your characters to let their lives been seen by others. You're not a story-forcer, you're not a story-demander, you're a story-teller. You tell stories. You might not know the story or your characters in full consciously but if you stop worrying about "what happens now" and focus more on simply writing what comes next, you'll be better off.

I know it sounds hard and a bit confusing. But I have never had success without writing subconsciously and letting my characters tell me their story. I am a recorder and am simply a means for my characters to have life for a little while.

Yes, I need to know the general ending. Yes, I need to know  who most of them are and what world they live in. But do I know that character one is an orphan? Not until it's important to the plot. Do I know that there's a greater evil hiding in the shadows and controlling the baddie that my mains are facing? Not until the reader has to know. Do I need to know that the random 12 year old on the ship is important to the sequel that I don't know about? Not until he becomes important. By the way, that last one is the whole reason The Harmonizer exists.

I write subconsciously. Even if I have a detailed scene by scene plan (which I do for most of the Crime Fiction books I'm working on) I will veer off path and begin writing whatever is supposed to happen even if I haven't planned on it happening. It's the writing Zen. It's being so in-tune with your characters and story that you really don't have to plan as the plan is all ready there, growing inside you and coming out as you allow it.

Some may call this writing Zen or writing subconsciously pantsing, that is, writing without a plan but it's more then that. You do have a plan. The plan is taking its time to reveal itself because deep down, you really don't need the whole plan.

Is there a way to find the writing Zen? Yes. To find the writing Zen all you have to do is write. Until next time: comments, questions, rage, rants and everything in between can be directed to the comments.


  1. That's a cool idea. You've got a good point about needing to write to find the zen. As with everything it takes practice. Think I need to embrace this subconcious writing thing a bit more. Maybe it'll help me up my wordcount.
    Have you written a post on how you made it to being such a prolific writer? Like how many hours a day you write, average words per hour, and how you worked up to that. Were you EVER a slow writer?
    Just interested.

    1. Thanks for the comment! And sorry for the slow response. I'm a bit distracted this month.
      You know, I don't think I've ever written a post like that. I did write posts about how it felt to hit the million words but nothing out right about that question in particular.
      You know what? I'll think/write about it this week. :)