Hello there! It’s the night before Nano, and all through the house – well, among other things, I’m pleased to share this spotlight with you. With no further ado – J. Rose Allister!
What’s the most unusual part of your writing process?
The most unusual part is probably that I accidentally programmed my subconscious so that I can write while working or even sleeping.
One of the mental “show vs tell” exercises I learned in the early days of studying craft was to describe everyday objects without mentioning their name, shape, or color. A bouquet of flowers became “a brilliant burst of floral fireworks,” for instance. I was so passionate about writing that I started doing this everywhere I went–“showing” salt shakers in a restaurant, stoplights on the way to work, etc. Somewhere along the way, my brain took this over automatically in the background, whether I wanted it to or not. Soon, it began whispering more complex ideas, characters, and even scenes. Without knowing it, I had launched the committee meeting of voices a writer hears when pounding away at a story, but this meeting stays in session no matter what I’m doing. With a little tweaking, I found the sessions will continue while I sleep, working out plot points and such so I’m often “programmed” with the next scene when I wake up. I used to joke that if I could just give up sleeping, I could get my writing done. As it turns out, that wasn’t too far from wrong!
Where are your backup files?
I have found out the painful, highly aggravating way that backups are a must! I have my WIPs backed up to two locations, a flash drive and on Google Drive (formerly Docs). I do two because I have also found out the hard way that a backup drive can fail. I also used to switch between writing on my primary laptop and a much smaller netbook, so some backups found their way there as well. (Although my writer husband seems to have planted his flag on the netbook lately–it’s so darned handy to take poolside or wherever, maybe not as light as a tablet, but I like the keyboard much better.)