Writing is a strange process.
Where do I think? Wherever I can. Whenever I shouldn’t be. Doing something else that is routine is when my mind wanders. How many times have I stood in my shower staring blankly at the wall for minutes on end. I step out the door and turn towards work when I’m supposed to go to the grocery store in the opposite direction. Sometimes sound effects escape my lips while I think, the muted crash of a spaceship or the mumbled echo of a character’s scream. I make faces; their faces. They are me and I am them. I imagine what they think and what they feel. It is a brilliant moment in my mind, charged with emotion and power. It energizes me.
Of course my wife worries for my sanity when she finds me staring at the wall mumbling to myself. But that’s how I work, by creating an elaborate daydream in my head, often forgetting or ignoring what’s actually around me. Then once I have it, I sit down in front of my laptop and try to flatten it into words and pictures. It never gets all the way there. In my head I know all the viewpoints, all the angles and all the thoughts. Putting it on (digital) paper means you have select the right moments for that scene from a continuous narrative in your head. That’s the hard part. It never gets as good as it was in your head. Things that didn’t matter in your head is suddenly very important, like where the characters are standing or the possibility that they don’t have quite enough hands to juggle two swords and the minigun at the same time. Not to mention in comics you need to choose the right moment to capture the essence of what is happening without being able to tell the reader.
After a struggle, I get this moment onto a page or two and instantly loathe it. However, a loathed page is better than a blank page as it can potentially be hammered into something worthwhile at a later date.
I love writing. I love forcing stories onto paper and laboring them into something semi-coherent. But it is not a linear, mechanical process, at least not yet. I cannot sit down and bang out page after page. Perhaps this is merely my lack of discipline, but unless I have the kernel of the scene in my head before I sit down, nothing will make it onto that paper. Thus I must conclude: Writing is weird.
How do you create?