Stream of Consciousness



Although I’m not on a rigid posting schedule (who needs that kind of pressure?), I do try to post at least once a week. Lately I’ve been struggling with topic ideas, so today I’m experimenting with a new concept.  It’s called Stream of Consciousness. Ever heard the term? If not, let me enlighten you. It’s a person's thoughts and conscious reactions to events, perceived as a continuous flow. The term was introduced by William James in his Principles of Psychology (1890). Typically a literary style in which a character's thoughts, feelings, and reactions are depicted in a continuous flow uninterrupted by objective description or conventional dialogue. James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Marcel Proust are among its notable early exponents.

So, for the next few minutes I will be letting my thoughts literally spill out onto this page and however that turns out, well…that’s what you’ll get to read in my next post. Let’s see how well this works and then I’ll decide if this will become a regular feature here.

Ready…begin.

I’m currently sitting in a pseudo-office (a hijacked conference room) because I spend a lot of time on conference calls and I don’t want to disturb the other folks who sit out in the bullpen with me.  There’s someone else in our office…who will remain nameless…who doesn’t give us that same courtesy and we’re regularly forced to listen to his loud and often obnoxious phone conversations. A side benefit of being in here is that I get to listen to my music without having to put on headphones. I have a portable Bluetooth speaker and 10+ gig worth of music on my phone. It’s rare that you’ll find me sitting and working without some kind of music playing in my ears. It’s a MUST when I’m writing. I have numerous playlist specially designated for when I write, and even sub-divided into the type of mood I need to be in based on the scenes I’m writing. Don’t knock it…it works. I’m listening to an Adelle song right now.

This morning I thought of another line to add to my list of RULES TO LIVE BY. You may have seen that list, I’ve posted it here on my blog before. Anyway, the RULE I determined needed to become part of the list is…Always be prepared to know the answer before they think of the question.

This weekend I really need to kick things in gear and get moving on my two projects.  One I thought I was finished with…and the other is just getting started.  My YA Paranormal Mystery novel currently on submission – Moving Fear – has received some favorable feedback, but one consistent negative note was my characterization of one particular character. She is an older woman written as a warm, kind, grandmother of my main character, but with a few quirks. I’m told the way she is written lightens the mood too much and editors prefer the story remain darker. I struggled with this at first, but now I can see a way to layer on more tension (tension is always good) and I’m on board with the suggestion.  Just have to get writing.  My other project is a YA mystery entitled Prick.  I’ve finished the first draft and the feedback I’ve received from the trusted few I allow to read my 1st drafts have been overwhelmingly positive, and I feel the commercial appeal for this story is through the roof, so I need to get started on the first round of revisions.  Thankfully my critique partners have given me plenty of idea’s to work with.

Speaking of CP’s, we have our monthly meeting this weekend.  They are such a talented group and as a team we make each other so much better. I still dream that one day we can get everyone together in one spot – in person – and enjoy each other’s company. Seeing one of them succeed is so satisfying. It’s as if we are all succeeding.

Now I’m listening to a song from a group my son recommended. Odessa. Perfect writing music as a lot of their stuff is instrumental.

Thinking again about the work ahead of me for my two writing projects, and the amount of time that will require, I have mixed feelings.  On one hand, I LOVE the writing process and seeing the results on people’s faces as they read sections intended to evoke one emotion or another. But on the other hand, I dread the brow-beating I’m sure to receive when my wife determines that I’ve dis-engaged from the family for long enough. She supports my writing 100%...until she doesn’t. I’m not sure she realizes the mixed signals she sends sometimes…but they are there. Sure, there has to be balance…I’m no idiot…but people should realize that as a writer – ALL WE WANT TO DO IS WRITE! If we’re not writing, it’s because we striving for balance that is only fair, but not always desired.

 Okay…that’s it for this brain snippet. You tell me, what do you think of this Stream of Consciousness experiment?

10 comments

  1. Hi Don - if you're married ... you need to spend time with your wife and kids, even if you're a writer - well there's the hockey stick comment! I'm just glad the work is ok ... and you've got that extra coming in ... I'm sure you'll work a schedule out - jotting notes down, so your projects can keep going ...

    Cheers for now - take care ... Hilary

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    1. Oh I spend as much time as a 17 year old teenage boy will tolerate, which isn't much. :)

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  2. At least you know how to fix that one character.
    I'm always listening to music. I live with my headphones on at work.
    No mixed signals from my wife. She just up and tells me.

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    1. I'm listening to the Eagles right now. :)

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  3. No wife for me, and I'm lucky my partner is okay with me shutting myself away every night to write. But the kids sure let me know when they've had enough of their mother at the computer...

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    1. Only time I hear from my son is the occasional..."Dad...the wi-fi is out again!"

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  4. I, for one, loved hearing your stream of consciousness! If you can do it, maybe you can set aside a specific time every day or week for writing only. That way, your family will know what to expect and when to expect it. Maybe then they'll accept it more easily? And I'm glad you know how to fix that problematic character! I love when things click that way.

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    1. That specific time...unfortunately because of my work...is early in the AM on the weekends -- which can stretch into all day depending on how entrenched I am in a chapter. I've always said...my weekends are like mini writing-retreats. :)

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  5. Very interesting. You got a lot of information out that probably wouldn't be connected otherwise. But it flowed well. Good job!

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    1. Yes...it helps if you organize your thoughts before you turn on the stream. Otherwise you might be reading something like...
      All work and no play makes DL a dull boy! All work and no play makes DL a dull boy! All work and no play makes DL a dull boy! All work and no play makes DL a dull boy! All work and no play makes DL a dull boy! All work and no play makes DL a dull boy! All work and no play makes DL a dull boy! All work and no play makes DL a dull boy! All work and no play makes DL a dull boy!

      :)

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