Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sensory Deprivation Writing Chamber

“The important thing is that there should be a space of time, say four hours a day at the least, when a professional writer doesn’t do anything but write. He doesn’t have to write, and if he doesn’t feel like it, he shouldn’t try. . . . But he is not to do any other thing, not read, write letters, glance at magazines . . . . Two very simple rules, a: you don’t have to write. b: you can’t do anything else. The rest comes of itself.”
-Raymond Chandler

How about that, writers? If you were locked in an empty room for four hours with nothing but your w.i.p., you'd write, right? Me too! Off to set up a sensory deprivation writing chamber! Sure, the Remote Writing Cabin sounds much cuter, but maybe not quite so effective. As I recall, people kept putting books and stuff in it, plus which, knowing me, I'd probably hide in the woods all day trying to catch the mysterious woodland visitors in the act of placing hot pies on the doorstep. (I once crouched in the snow for several hours with my camera, trying to get a picture of my cat using the door knocker. I got the shot, and it kills me that it's been lost! Not to mention the cat. Man, she was a smart cat.)

Well, I am back to writingwritingwriting, and I am going to subdue that unruly w.i.p. Make no mistake! Today I am taking my own advice, which is to write some scenes without undue attachment to the outcome, in the spirit of discovery, the goal being to get to know one of my characters better. There's a wall I keep hitting with him, and I realize it's because he's just not *real* yet. So that's what I'm doing today. You?

(Okay, I'm not really setting up a sensory deprivation chamber, but I should.)

8 comments:

Debbie Barr said...

I am also working on getting to know my characters better today through some free-writing. I realized yesterday I don't know any of them as well as I would like.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I want that chamber! Actually, I would do better if I would not leave internet/email on when I'm writing, because every time I see something come in, I rush over. Silly and non-productive that is.
Oh, so sorry you lost that photo. It sounds amazing.

Anonymous said...

I want to thank you for all your sound advice. I have a "draft zero" and I am working to make it readable. What you post here always helps.

D.J. Morel said...

I've often thought of how much easier it must have been to write novels with quill pens. You couldn't chat, send e-mails, play games, surf the web, or pay bills with them. All you could do was write. (Funny how even paying bills can sometimes feel like a more desirable thing to do than write.)

Then I figured I could just rip the internet connection out of the computer where I write, create a virtual deprivation chamber. It's an old machine, and doesn't miss its blue internet cord much. Now I either sit there and stare into space, or I write.

Faith Pray said...

There's a buzz of kid chatter about me at present, which is truly complete bliss, but not at all the bliss I need when working on that wip. I positively ache for the four hour writing space!

Myrna Foster said...

I'm sorry you lost that picture. When I was little, we had a cat that would swing back and forth with our doorknob between her paws until she opened the door. Cats are funny creatures.

Myrna Foster said...

And thank you for sharing your thoughts on plot. I'm going to print out your posts and read them tonight.

Lucy said...

Good luck taming that WIP! And a happy World Book and Copyright Day to you. It's tomorrow, April 23rd.