A Little Bit of Chaos
I finally accepted that the writing process is never the same. One project might come to me in a series of unconnected scenes. Other times, it presents itself as one whole, and my outline will resemble a synopsis instead of a fractured puzzle. Fact is, I never know how the story is going to come together and I know I can’t decide how it will happen.
I hate it. It is chaos, and my order-loving little heart is smashed. But, the writing gods don’t care.
Either way I get the idea, once I have it wrangled into a workable form of some sort, I start to type. I used to try and go for that hallowed one, perfect draft (I love order, I told you). However, three and four rewrites of an entire novel quickly beat that method out of me. Now, I do what I swore I never would: write one, chaos filled first draft. And I write it as quickly as I can.
I look at it as a sketch: Mostly dialogue and points describing how I want the characters to react. As I go along through the drafts, I fill in the emotion and tighten the plot. In the end, I will have about three to four drafts before it is ready to be published.
I won’t lie, there are days I think, “what am I doing to myself?” but ever since I got bit by the writing bug as a child, I knew this is ultimately what I wanted to do. I was first inspired by fairytales, then moved on to the worlds created by C. S. Lewis. I wanted to find my way into magical wardrobes and befriend umbrella carrying fauns (especially if the faun is James McAvoy).
I have since been inspired by others. Jane Austen (I am team Darcy, fyi) and from there moved into the darker fantasy of Anne Rice and Neil Gaiman. These authors will always be close to my heart. They showed me it was ok to see the world differently and question the unquestionable.
Thanks to them, my bookshelf is an interesting hodgepodge of genres. Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles sit next to the collected autobiography of Casanova. The Phantom of the Opera and Perfume are snuggled against my beloved Harry Potter. Don’t even get me started on non-fiction...I have an unhealthy collection of all things Mozart.
When I see my bookshelf, I see an extension of myself. I also see an unending stream of inspiration and motivation. When I struggle to get through the chaos of writing a book, or angered when my writing plan gets blown to bits, I look up at my books on the shelves. Small books are wedged between large, dark fantasy next to non-fiction, and Garfield comics shoved against The Master and Margarita. It is chaotic. Yet, it does not collapse and I realize that from chaos can arise beauty. I know all will be ok.
Genevieve Raas is an author living in Indianapolis with her husband and rather haughty dog, Mr. Darcy. Born with dual citizenship of the U.S. and Switzerland, she was made for travel. Genevieve’s adventures often form the backdrop for many of her stories creating vivid worlds and cultures.
Since she was small Genevieve knew the only way to tell the stories in her heart was through writing. The battle between darkness and light always fascinated her, allowing her to explore the complex internal conflicts inherent in all of us.
A graduate from Indiana University, Genevieve holds a Master’s Degree in English and a Master’s Certificate in Professional Editing. She has worked as Lead Transcriber on several published anthologies, including: The Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury, Volume 2 and the New Ray Bradbury Review. She has also worked on The Santayana Edition: Vol. 2.