Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dream Writing

Lately I’ve been having some pretty wicked dreams…very detailed…sometimes exciting, sometimes upsetting but always stuck in my mind when I wake up.

One dream I had the other night was so great that I jotted it down because the ideas that it spawned for a new project were incredible and exciting. I’ve been trying to sort out a plot for it ever since…and I think I’m on to something.

I know that there are a few authors out there (one famous one in particular) who claim that their grand, best selling ideas come from their dreams. I always found this concept interesting but never plausible for me. Usually I don’t remember a darn thing from dreamland. Well…not unless it has something to do with spiders…those creepers really freak me out. But lately my dreams have been almost narrating themselves and when I wake up there they are…fresh ideas rolling around in my head ready for some fleshing out.

I’m not complaining…it’s thrilling to have a new source of inspiration…even if I have absolutely no control over it.

What about you all…any inspirational things happening in your dreams?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Do Your Characters Talk to You?

A number of authors I've been reading recently have all stated that their characters "talk" to them. That they have very little control over how the story is going to play out because it's really up to the characters who are whispering in their ear. One author in particular even goes so far as to say that she can't explain certain elements of her already published books because she only knows what the characters know, that or they haven't told her yet. (In fact, at times, she seems kind of scared of her characters or at least intimidated by them.)

I find this concept very strange.

I'm not passing judgement...okay, maybe I am a little, but it seems odd to me that these authors attribute their work to this fictitious muse of sorts who gives them the story to write. I remember reading an interview with Anne Rice when I was a teenager and recall her saying that Lestat would converse with her while she was writing. Now, at the time I thought that was really cool and maybe that's what has changed. Back then I was just a fan, now I'm a struggling writer, determined to find my place in the publishing word...and yet, no voice has ever spoken to me with a story and I find myself viewing those who say they do a little more critically then I have before.

These writers are also best selling, New York Times, very successful kinds of authors. People are desperate to read their books. They have tons of fans. Including me. So whatever they're doing, they're doing it very, very right.

So what does that mean? Do you have to have a little bit of the crazies to be successful as a writer?

Again, not trying to be rude or disrespectful but when someone in the real world says I've got voices talking to me we usually give them some space...that or have them committed. Is it different for writers? Do we give them more flexibility to be eccentric because they are artists? Do we take their confessions with a grain of salt and just know that they are talking metaphorically not literally?

Am I just so obtuse that I can't wrap my head around telling myself that a character is whispering their story to me? Is it like seeing ghosts, if you don't believe it will never happen? Or am I just too darn practical that I can't allow myself that kind of creative freedom?

I don't have the answers and I'm very curious what you all think.
Fellow writers out there: How many of you have characters writing your stories? Fellow readers out there: How weird is it when an author confesses that they hear voices?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Suspension of Disbelief and the Big O

I was reading a thread on a Writer’s forum a couple of weeks ago where there was a debate raging about what is realistic when it comes to how many times a woman (or man) can orgasm in a love scene. The author who started the thread was concerned that she was doing something wrong by having her hero and heroine reach fulfillment so many times in a row.

Now, I read a lot of romance…a lot…and I have to say that one of the most consistent features that I really find necessary to a satisfying end is the multiple orgasm. Is it realistic? No. I don’t know many women (definitely no men – sorry guys) who can orgasm three, four, sometimes five times in a single session of making love. Perhaps it’s because I read a lot of paranormal romance – the men and women there tend to be otherworldly and therefore have been gifted with more stamina and super abilities when it comes to sex.

I’ve been guilty of it myself in my short stories – what’s the point in having a sex scene when all you get out of it is one final bang? It’s way more exciting to have a rolling continuum of satiation.

It requires suspension of disbelief (so it can't be too unrealistic) and I think it’s mandatory when one is reading a romance. I mean, the whole genre is begging you to enter a fantasy world (whether you’re reading paranormal, contemporary, historical, whatever) so what’s a few extra orgasms thrown in?

What do you all think? How many O’s are too many O’s?