|Vesuvius erupting, June 1774, by Joseph Wright of Derby|
Okay, readers, it's time for you to get involved. I'd like to think a bit about how we create - how we write, make music, create art, or whatever our particular area of creativity is. I'll start with my process, and then I'd love to hear from all of you about yours. Use the comments section, or get in touch with me through other avenues and I'll add your words to this post when I receive them. (No, that doesn't mean there will be a quiz. It's all just for fun.) Try to think in terms of natural phenomena, just to narrow things down a bit and keep us all more or less on the same page.
I was recently asked in an interview about my creative process. The question got me thinking about how I might describe it, and the image that came to me was of a volcano.
First, things rumble around deep underneath the surface for a very long time. Then, as the pressure builds, we see occasional belches of smoke - something's happening, but it isn't yet obvious what it is, exactly.
|Stromboli from a helicopter, copyright Tommasso Checchi, 2007|
(sketchy scenes, an outline, a snippet of dialogue)
And finally it erupts, all over the pages (cyber or otherwise)...
|Mt. Etna, ca. 1766, by Alessandro D'Anna|
(Oh, look! A rough draft!)
... resulting in a huge mess which requires a vast amount of cleanup.
|Lava flow on a street in Heimaey, Iceland (from a U.S. Geological Survey publication, 1973)|
(Time to start revising.)
I'm currently at the smoke-belching stage of my WIP.
That was me. Now - how about you?
What's your equivalent? Inquiring minds want to know. I'm eagerly awaiting input! Don't leave me stranded here, all by myself.
The comments are starting to come in, and so far, they're fascinating. I'm going to add a few images here, based on those comments, to tempt you to read what people are saying.
On Facebook, Barbara Gaskell Denvil adds this: "Volcanoes and tidal waves have long been how I see my creative energies. Shame about the soggy boring grey rain showers in between!" Yes, indeed it is! And here's a tidal wave, for Barbara:
Also on Facebook, Adelaida Lucena-Lower says: "It has always been quiet, like gardening. I till (read/research), seed (an idea/scene/character grabs me), I plant it (mull over for a long time). It germinates (start writing maniacally). It generally needs manure (more detailed research) and light (distance from the piece). Eventually, it will require pruning." As somebody who writes a blog which (most of the time) is about research, I love the idea of more detailed research equalling manure! Here's a garden, for Adelaida:
And the comments continue on Facebook (though I'm afraid I don't have time to keep finding images to accompany them - still, they are plenty vivid as they are).
Melanie Spiller: "I'm more like a whirlwind with a whole lot of cleanup afterwards. Not quite a tornado (I stop and suddenly change directions)." I can certainly relate to all the cleanup...
Sue Millard: "I see no-one has shared one like mine: I think of it as water, seeping from an upland bog, then a stream trickling downhill and gathering speed as it goes until finally it is a grand river carrying the story to the open sea. Then I spend a LOT of time as formless water vapour before the whole process starts again. I'm at the water vapour stage right now BTW." May you seep again soon, Sue. (That sounds odd, doesn't it?)
Images in this post are in the public domain, except for the photo of Stromboli by Tommasso Checchi, which is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, Wikimedia Commons, and Dense Fog, which is copyright Florian K at the German language Wikipedia, under the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2.