I was talking to a writer friend the other day who told me that most of the people that visit writers' websites are people that want to write and are looking for inspiration, guidance, or the "magic bullet" that will bring their own writing into print. I love reading about writing. I'm also a process junkie; I love to listen to people talk about how they write, why they write, what they write about, any of it. I'm always looking and listening for new techniques and habits to try in the hopes that doing so will make me more productive, my writing more moving, my desk less messy. So, in the spirit of giving back to the universe that gave me so much on the topic, today I give to you the first in a series that will inform you how to write like Danny Waters.
Please note that the *How* in this case refers to my work mannerisms and process, not style. I would never suggest that an aspiring writer should write like me. You should only write like yourself. Or Shakespeare. Or maybe like Jack Handey, the guy that writes Deep Thoughts, only because I am really greedy for more Deep Thoughts because he doesn't write enough of them for me, and if there were an army of Jack Handey clones then I could have an endless supply of Deep Thoughts.
Oh wait, this was supposed to be a generous post, not more evidence of my overwhelming selfishness. Ahem.
How to Write Like Danny Waters
1. Take seat in front of computer or blank paper (note: seat optional)
2. Begin blasting "Crushing Belial" by Shadow's Fall from whatever electronic device is handy. If no such device is present, start singing "Crushing Belial" as loud as you can
3. Start typing or writing
That's pretty much it. Lather, rinse, repeat. People who have observed me working say things like: "How can you even think with that crap playing?", "What is that awful song?", "Must you torture me?" and "I guess proper hygiene was the first thing to go for your 'art', huh?"
Little do they realize that the reason I listen to loud music isn't because it helps me think, but because it drowns them out and ideally drives them away (the bad hygiene is good for that, too). Which, come to think of it, helps me think.
I kid. But usually I've thought so much about what I want to write so much before I get in front of the computer or the paper that I'm ready to go, and the adrenal charge that loud fast music gives me helps me go quick. I fall into a rhythm, a cadence. By the time I get through the scene that I'd been thinking about I'm usually so deep into that weird world where it begins to feel more like channeling than writing that the process just starts to take over. After about fifteen minutes I couldn't even tell you what the last song playing was--and if the writing is going really well I couldn't even tell you what song was playing right then without stopping to listen.
Sounds crazy, but that's how I roll. Many people I know need total silence to write--I can't stand silence. I need noise, but not random noise. I'm not recommending my method, nor am I saying Don't Try This At Home. If you want to write, try anything and everything, and then settle on what works for you.
Five more days...five more days until Generation Dead is out. I really can't be held responsible for anything I write on this blog until then, including this entry.
BTW, I use the process above for writing, but not for editing--which takes me much, much longer and is where the rubber really meets the road. And yes, I've often suspected that maybe the editing wouldn't "take much, much longer" if I didn't listen to bone-crushing heavy metal when I write, but that's what works for me.
Also btw, I actually have exceptional--some would say fastidious, even--hygiene. I'm very clean, and I have a collection of pleasing colognes that I wear in liberal but not overpowering doses.
Just thought you should know.