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Everyone writes differently. Everyone’s mind works in its own way. From plotting to pantsing…from an extensive series of notes to a scribbled mess on napkins…from writing scenes in order to jumping around the timeline…from writing a bare bones first draft to a more detailed version…writing is as individual as each individual.

I find the ways everyone writes fascinating and, at times, helpful when I am finding that my “way” isn’t working. I have ten manuscripts in various stages of draft-y drafts and so many short stories here and there, so I might know enough to share. Though I don’t know enough…

So here’s how I…Kathy The Weird and Creepy Free-Spirit…write a book. May it intrigue, give insight into the odd goings on in my head, and entertain.

Let’s start at the very beginning…

The idea.

Before there is a story, there is the first thought, the thing that drives the author to write.

This idea can come from an image, a name, a character, a sentence, a question. I wrote a story inspired by: a tree in my in-laws’ front yard, the thought that what if a door could access anywhere in the universe, the question of what if fate messed up, the name Ember, the sentence “who enters the trees never returns”, a character who turns into a faerie, a world dying and needs to be saved, a girl who wants friends, the question what happens to those who have faith in a faithless world…and so many more.

Seriously. Inspiration is everywhere, in the smallest of things, the strangest of moments, or the sparks of emotion.

Think of a huge snowy hill. Each time I have an idea for a book or short story, that tiny bit of information forms a snowball at the top. I keep the little frozen ball safe in my mind. Then I wait. I let my creative brain listen to it, think about it. I talk to the characters, if any have come forward. I dream of the world, if it has shown itself yet. I wonder about themes, about emotions that go with the characters and ideas.

Some of those snowballs roll down the hill, gathering mass. Some roll fast, others slow, and a few not at all.

Those that roll the fastest get my attention.

At some point that attention focuses and that idea turns into my work in progress.

To be continued…