The more I write, the more I understand my own writing process. One part of this process is the big PAUSE. While I’m writing something — anything longer than a short story — I hit a crossroads and stop. I’ve started to call it hitting the pause button because that’s exactly how it feels. I pause, look away from the manuscript and then go back and read it. After the pause, I either chuck it or go on.
I just hit the pause button on my fourth Candy’s Monsters. I’m happy to report that I’m not chucking it! My Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde inspired novella is moving ahead.
Of course I have lots more to do.
Some of it is tight and some of it is still in note form and I’ve got a growing list of specific things to research. I’ll call a friend from Maryland and figure out which town’s name makes the most sense (location, demographics, etc.) Go on the Macy’s website to find out, exactly, what time the July 4th fireworks start. Dig up the name of that Celia Cruz song I left blank because I can’t recall it. And double-check the parking situation at the beach in Hampton Bays.
Yes, I’m a bear about details. Nothing shatters literary magic spells faster than a sloppy real life mistake. But, since I’m writing paranormal, supernatural and magical monster stories, there are plenty of chances for me to make things up. The big pause is an important moment for assessing those details and making sure the magic spell is balanced between reality and fiction.
I’ve already consulted with my forensic pathologist friend and when I described the properties of a drug essential to my plot, she gave me the go ahead to make it up. There is nothing like your doctor buddy giving you the green light to create a magical potion! I love it when a scientist says — go to the lab in your notepad and CREATE.
Writers out there, do you have a pause button too?