Operation Concrete

I love walking into my local G&D's cafe in Oxford, grabbing a cup of tea, opening up my laptop, sitting down in the middle of the room, sticking my headphones in, looking at faces and letting go. Controlled breathing, a straight back, lots of sugar, appropriate music, and letting my mind flow. Giving in to whatever I have coiled up inside myself. I guess it's not the dictionary Dali self portraitdefinition of Automatic Writing, it's certainly not clairvoyance and I'm not talking to God or anything, but the flow is definitely there. It's borderline surrealist.

I know where I've come from, where I'm going, but that doesn't necessarily cause too many boundaries, it's still definitely allows for the complete free flow of thought. An unhinged consciousness, allowing me to run rabid in my own minds eye. Quick firing synapses, full of sound, colour, mixing and meshing, all forming in front of me as and how I like. The whole process certainly takes its grip, and without knowing, I'll have written 3000 words, been sat ridged for 2 hours, and be staring directly at someone without even blinking.

I love it, and this is how the majority of my novel has been written at the moment. A completely unhinged flow of thought for anywhere from 3 to 8 hours at at time. But that's not to say there's no structure, I think I've reached a happy medium. Following structured bullets I put down, points the chapter must include, then driving at them, flooring my mind, no fucking around, and smashing them apart.

A good instance, is when my lead protagonist / anti-hero is going through quite a dramatic change. I knew what I had to do, but I also knew that to truly convey the feeling of what was happening to him to the reader, the writing should be as quick, unrelenting and twisted as his own experience. I believe combining my 'free flow' along with a touch of structure, allowed that perfectly, here's a snippet:

“An instant. Crawling through a conduit, a tube of metal, to the reach perfect scenario. A place of such peace, tranquillity, entirely empty, perfect temperature, the buzz of his body, steady breathing, entranced euphoric state of nothingness. Soft synthesised bells all around him, the sound of trickling water in the air, a naked body, alive.

An instant. Hairs stranding on end, soft leaves under toe, walking, the breeze catching his lips. Soft life, incredible presence, the high pitched laugh of a young girl in the distance, the smell of toast, and butter. An auburn street in fall, wonderful relaxing colours, total silence.

Epic scale, unimaginable things rushing into his brain, all at once, unrelenting, killing, taking and giving, stretching, pulling, fists gripped tight. Grab after grab, more and more, the want to be raped, to have his mind and body overcome by life after life, all experience. Over and over again, full, overpowering, unflinching, unrelenting, unbridled rape, he changed each time, but was always left with more.”

Obviously without context that might not mean much, but you get the idea. I'm definitely very interested in what processes writers use, especially in the light of what I believe I've been utilising during my first nine chapters. How structured you think you are? How much is just completely free flowing? How you break down each sentence, paragraph, chapter, novel? And ultimately how you make it fit together? I've been quite fortunate that everything makes sense at the moment, but I can understand how it can easily get out of control.

And today's Aspirers Mark goes to Adrien-Luc Sanders from rambling.effluvium. He's a writer, designer, and aspiring novelist. He covers it all, and as his about section explains he also goes through; 'incessant meandering about his attempts to write and publish a novel - hence the title "rambling effluvium”'. He as regular snippets of his work, which are definitely entertaining and as I was browsing brought a smile to my face. Another one to keep an eye on, and be routinely entertained by.