Jamie Magee has always believed that each of us have a defining gift that sets us apart from the rest of the world, she has always envied those who have known from their first breath what their gift was. Not knowing hers, she began a career in the fast paced world of business. Raising a young family, and competing to rise higher in that field would drive some to the point of insanity, but she always found a moment of escape in a passing daydream. Her imagination would take her to places she’d never been, introduce her to people she’s never known. Insight, her debuting novel, is a result of that powerful imagination. Today, she is grateful that not knowing what defined her, led her on a path of discovery that would always be a part of her.
I want to admit that blogging or guest posting is one of the realms of the literary world that I have not explored thoroughly. I was a bit apprehensive about these stops ( I didn’t want to disappoint anyone – lol). When I was searching for topics B.K Walker kindly offered one for me to write about – her choice “writing mode – what process do you go through as you write.”
First of all I want to say I am without a doubt I am a ‘Panster’ (I’m cringing right now hoping that old English teachers do not come across this blog). In high school and college I could not stand the idea of outlines – they drove me mad. Every time I would try to write one I would end up completing the assignment instead. In fact when those amazing English teachers (looking for brownie points here) requested an outline or had you turn one in weeks before the paper I would ‘fake it out’ meaning, I would go through my paper and create one – the up side to this…my papers were always done well in advance to the due date.
Old habits die hard and sometimes not at all. When I began writing my debut, Insight, I did not know how the story would end. I’m one of those authors that have no idea what is going to happen until my fingers strike the keys – well, there are those times when an idea comes and I have to find a way to remember it before it leaves me, but even then that idea has not fully blossomed – not until my fingers reach the key board. I truly did think I was the odd man out – and was prepared to hide this little secret even after my book was published, but then I found reason to believe I was just another brand of an author.
The first person that made me feel normal about the way I created was Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love. I came across a speech she had given on the creative process. One of the most interesting points in this speech was when she mentioned the poet Ruth Stone. Elizabeth spoke about an interview she had with Ruth and how Ruth explained that she would in effect ‘hear’ a poem coming – and when she did she would have to ‘run like hell’ to find a pen and paper and write the poem down before the poem moved on to another poet. I found that fascinating. What was even more interesting was when Ruth explained to Elizabeth that sometimes she was almost to late to catch a poem – and she had to ‘grab it by its tale’ and when this happened the poem came out perfectly on the paper – except for the fact that the poem was backwards – written from the end to the beginning. Now, that little story made me feel normal. Don’t get me wrong I do not catch stories by the tale (that would be cool though) but, I do know how it feels when as story hits you.
The first idea for Insight came to me while I was wrapping Christmas Presents in Dec of 2009. I remember freezing with scissors in hand and watching a scene play out before me. I was paralyzed by the raw emotion I felt from my characters, and had no choice but to write them down. To tell you how out of character this was for me – I didn’t even own a personal lap top, much less a word document. I had to borrow one from my father in law just to get started. As I began to write my daydream out my mind started to play other scenes – I would have given anything to have been able to type faster.
This process of in effect “catching a story” is how I have completed each of my novels. Unlike Ruth Stone’s poems my characters do not wonder off to another author – they haunt me until their story is written. I’ve been told that I was insane for staying up all hours of the night – or rising before the sun to write, but honestly according to my characters sleep wasn’t an option at that moment.
I can’t explain how amazing it is to watch a story come life – to know that there is not another soul on earth that has seen, read, or heard what these characters are living through.
Today I not only adore the fact that other writers have penned the creative process I use as “Panster”, but I embrace it. Even though ‘catching stories’ or scenes have cost me sleep that will never be regained – it was worth every second. I’m honored that my characters have found me and I have the pleasure of telling their story.
I would like to thank Az Publishing Service once again for having me here, and each of you for taking time out of your day to read the ramblings of a new author.