How I Write
I never do anything exactly the same way twice. I play piano by ear and each time I perform a song, I improvise according to the mood and ambiance.
My fiction and non-fiction writing is really a similar method.
A VERY QUICK IMPULSE AND WRITING NON-STOP
In 2007, I as at my son's golf course for Thanksgiving dinner. I had won first place in the online short story contest and felt good about being able to write fiction. Up until that point, I had never written fiction, although I had written about 40 songs (music and lyrics).
I returned home from the dinner and watched TV for awhile and then went to bed. The next morning I woke up, quickly went to the desktop computer, booted it, pulled up a Word document and began typing as fast as possible. I typed without sleep for three days (Friday through Sunday) and, since I had to be at my public education job on Monday, I did sleep Sunday night. By that time, however, I had finished the novel Love Never Dies. It was about 80,000 words and was bare-bones regarding characters, plot, and the settings in the small American city where magnolia trees grow and in Vietnam.
It was as though the book was a hidden treasure within me and I "up-chucked" it. I hadn't planned it or thought about the characters or plot before starting to write.
Because that time was important in my life and I really had lost friends in that "conflict," I decided to expand the novel and spend the next months writing more and also writing the song that goes with the book. I recorded the song and you hear that in the trailer. I felt like I already knew quite a bit about the Vietnam War. I was a newspaper reporter from 1968 - 1971 and wrote a lot of political news as well as interviewed many politicians. However, I didn't believe I knew enough. Therefore, during those months of expanding the book, I purchased and read a lot of history books on the Vietnam War and included more war information. I probably got the idea to do this from the novel, Gone With the Wind." Margaret Mitchell had included a lot of Civil War history in her novel. Of course, most of that was left out of the movie.
When finished, the book was over 180,000 words. This first book is Christian-based based on small-town conservative principles. I've given some thought to re-writing it to have less religious emphasis. The plot in terms of church, school, music, etc., in the 1950s and 1960s was rather like I grew up, although Atlanta was a large city then. To date, I have not re-written the novel.
Another novel I wrote like this was Cowboy Jesse and the College Girl.
Back in the 1990s, I had written the poem about the Civil War Battle of Chickamauga and done the drawing and decided on a lark one day to format and publish it in ebook style.
STEWING FOR AWHILE
The opposite method is getting a plot in my head and spending time thinking about it. Over weeks, the characters rather "live with" me and want their story told. I wake up and the characters seem to be in my head and they remain there all day until we get their story told. It is strange, that after that, I don't necessarily even remember their names. I just go on to something new.
In this "stewing" method, over time, the plot just sort of unfolds. I think about the characters and plot as I'm going to sleep and when I awake, I have more of the book in my head. I then at least write notes or actually write some of the novel. Weeks or months later, I make myself sit down and finish the book.
Novels written using this method are The Shirt and Bad Day at Eagle Rock.
Bad Day at Eagle Rock had been in my thoughts for a couple of years. My son and his partner own a golf course and near it is Parker Hill and that seemed like such an interesting perch for an assassin. As I said at the start of this page, my novel writing came after enjoying Thanksgiving dinner at the golf course. Since I actually finished and published Love Never Dies that was the result of that, it seemed natural to think about a novel with the course as a setting.
A novel that has been for years and continues to be stewing within me is The Yank from Virginia, which will be a historical novel set in the Civil War. I've been fascinated with General George Thomas for many years.
WRITING FOR A REASON
The Pig Tales Children's Education Books are written this way. I wrote the first Pig Tales book for granddaughter Carissa and then decided to add additional ones. I often discuss my books with her and she has actually added some characters to the Pig Tales books.
In 2012, we had a Silberstein Student-Teacher reunion and I had the wonderful time of spending moments with students I taught when they were in 6th grade or 5th grade. They are now grown, but as they talked more and more about the characters we all came up with to teach concepts, I realized how important this had been to them. They could describe the characters and the concepts from the TEKS or Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills.
It seemed very important to me to share this info with other elementary teachers and I wrote Classroom Success Through Creativity and made it free for months. I also did quite a bit of work on The Teacher's Ultimate Handbook, but it remains unpublished to date. It contains so much info and I really haven't had the time to organize it.
The screenplay Texas Trilogy: 1. The Legacy was written after thinking about it and planning it for awhile. Dallas has a heavy drug cartel presence and I taught students years ago whose dads or older brothers or even themselves were in gangs. After writing the screenplay, I decided to convert it to a novel of the same name and same plot and characters.
Because I had written the song "Texas Bootstomp Boogie" back in 1978, after writing and publishing novels, I thought I should write one based on the premise of the song. It just needed a little more plot and that was actually easy to do.
The Astrological Parody book was put together to share the parodies we enjoyed during parties when I entertained in Houston, 1979-1983.
When I write the "Lee Masters" novel and Aquarian Age non-fiction works, there will always be purpose for each entity. This is the "other" side of my life. Many works have been started, but are not finished. The plan is to finish the Lee Gabor writings and then concentrate full-time on the astrology and metaphysical works. The website for that interest is here.
My daughter loves mysteries, as do I, and the Casey Carson series, when I get any of those books finished and published, will result from actually organizing a book. This up-front work may be why I haven't completed a book yet. I have a harder time organizing a novel and then writing it.
Of course the non-fiction cookbooks were organized. These were the two free tribute books.
Rather than being concerned about "how" one writes, to me the important action is to do it, even if it is an article or short story. I know my writing is improving as I continue to write.
I hope, if you want to write, that whatever method you use works for you. I'd love to know about your efforts. You are welcome to email me at Lee@LeeGabor.com. Please don't include plots, setting, or characters - I would never want to inadvertently use someone else's idea(s), but I am interested in encouraging you to simply WRITE and WRITE and WRITE.
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