Other than that and the fact it keeps sleep at bay, the biggest drawback to bed writing is that it isn't on paper or computer. Its output must be stored in one's mind -- a process that's iffy at best. (Oy, how many times I've wished there was some device I could just clamp comfortably onto my skull, like an electronic, thought-transcribing yarmulke, and transfer these words and ideas directly onto my computer! It's a little maddening when a whole section writes itself out in my mind and I can only hope it will be there the next day!)
Friday, November 12, 2010
Pay attention. The post title does not read "bed wetting" or "bad writing." ;-) Now that we've cleared that up . . .
Bed writing is how I often come up with titles, character names, development of and solutions to plot points, and entire paragraphs and sections. It isn't something that happens while I'm sleeping (that would be dream writing) and it isn't something that happens while I'm awake and alert (that would be normal writing). Bed writing happens when I'm tired and want to sleep but can't sleep. It's tied to the insomnia that's plagued me for years (and, since I don't trust drugs and don't have health insurance, will probably continue to plague me).
Last night, as I lay awake and sandwiched between JLA and Luna, and Cody was on the floor passing gas . . .
Okay, wait. Let me clear up this scenario, because right now it sounds like a Roman orgy. JLA is my SO, Luna is a sleek little terrier-lab mix rescue dog, and Cody is a not-so-sleek, dumber-than-dirt, shepherd-something mix rescue dog. (Maybe pit bull, but you'd never know it considering what a wussy sweetheart he is.)
So anyway, they were all asleep. I wasn't. My mind was churning. I don't know if this mental restlessness is the cause or result of my insomnia but suspect it's both. I'd been stressing a little over how to end my WIP, Visible Friend, because it's a strange story about a recovering heroin addict, the pitfalls he encounters, and his often unwanted companion. The HFN was there, but something was missing. The missing something came to me between rounds of wriggling from my right side onto my left side and back again in a futile attempt to get comfortable. I expanded and typed it out today, and like it very much.
Bed writing has also led to character names and a core idea for my next story. Maybe the title will come to me tonight.
This isn't any kind of technique. It can't be taught. I haven't cultivated bed writing; it just happens. It also has a tendency to interfere with my paltry attempts at working from an outline. Sometimes, in fact, it destroys those attempts.
So what's the point of this post? Only this: if you ever doubted that writers are weird creatures, doubt no more.