Sunday Q&A: Concepts, Ideas, and Writer’s Block

posted in: Various Musings | 0

Jade answers interview and reader questions on Sundays.

About how long does it take you to take for you to complete a novel from concept to completion?

Depends on the book. One book took me over five years to get right, where I felt like I was doing the story justice. Another book, though, I took from concept to complete publication in three weeks. Most books, though, on average take from one to two months to write. The problem is what I call my “germinating” process. I get the idea but that doesn’t mean it’s ready to write or that I have time to do it when I want, so it brews and bubbles in my head until I can get it on paper. Like right now: I’m writing Dead Bodies Everywhere (Nicki Sosebee #11), but I am also itching to start no fewer than four other projects (a semi-autobiographical book tentatively titled Snapped! along with my first MC book, a standalone sci-fi novel, a May-December romance, and a sequel novella to Finger Bang)—oh, I guess that’s five, not four (the problem is I have over thirty projects I want to write as I type this out). So if you consider that time as well (the incubation/idea phase), then some of them take a while. Because I really want to write those other books, I have scenes and ideas constantly flashing in my head that will eventually become parts of those books (some of which I jot down), but the story’s not “set in stone” until I actually get it on paper.

Where do your ideas come from?

My best ideas come to me in two places: when I’m driving long distances, listening to music and letting my mind wander, and in the shower when I’m thinking about a book (sometimes one I’m currently working on or sometimes one I plan to write in the future). Both places are equally difficult to have these ideas, because there’s no paper and pen immediately handy! I sometimes have cool ideas as I’m waking up in the morning, but that happens less often.

Do you ever get ideas at random moments? How do you hang on to them?

A lot, unfortunately. If I’m somewhere inconvenient, like in the shower, I just keep repeating it over and over in my mind until I can write it down. If I’m driving, I turn on the video on my phone camera and speak what’s in my head until I can get home and transcribe it.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

Writer’s block is a bitch, but I just write through it…one word at a time. That’s the best, the only way I know how to really knock it down. If I don’t, it wins.

Can you write on demand and under pressure, or do you need time and space before the creativity starts to flow?

I used to need the perfect conditions but not anymore. I just sit down and write. I think of it as training for the Olympics (and I used to tell my students this)—if you force yourself to do it enough and you do it regularly, your brain, your hands, your “writing muscles” will obey you, and when you sit down to write, they’ll be ready. It works.

Got a question for me? Post it in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer it either here or in a future post!

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