I'm a new member, Judith MacCaellich, but that is such a mouthful, just call me JudyMac. I'm a Scot, born on Skye, worked near London, and now live in France.
I have been writing since school, many years ago, mainly for my own enjoyment. I have been published, one SF short story and one poem, both unpaid (other than magazine copies), so nothing to brag about.
For the first time in my life I have a writing room, well it also doubles as a library, and fibre/fabric stash area, but I don't worry about that. Having written short stories for years, I have finally decided to try novel length, so tips and techniques on making that change are very welcome.
Want a peek into my writing life?
Writing, for me, starts with the world and a "what if" scenario, my room descends into chaos as I create a strong and believable history.
Then I ask myself "Who lives here?" and I wait for the characters to arrive. Usually they arrive as full blown people with interests, clothes, and attitude. The story? Well that is just writing down what they say, and more importantly letting them say it in the way that they want to.
I recently had trouble when I kept insisting that the opening was set on Halloween, then gave in in disgust after 8 attempts to get the story started, and yelled at my lead character. She just turned around and asked me if I wanted to know how it happened, of course I said "Yes". She opened on Midwinters eve! Enough said.
The room sits in chaos as the plot thickens, with more layers of notes, pictures, and CDs strewn across the floor. Then the story ends. The room is cleared, the manuscript put away to rest for a few weeks.
Just as re-writing / editing cleans the manuscript up, so the room I work in begins to sparkle, dusted and polished, waiting.
Then I re-write and edit surrounded by order.