Thursday, September 1, 2011

Basement Thinking

Guess what? I managed to finish the first edit of my work in progress, Rabbit Island, which involved a lot of rewriting, reorganizing, and rearranging. Now that there is a decent framework, I realize that there are a lot of plot holes. There are new scenes to be written. There is a new storyline I wish to weave through it all.

On to what I'm calling Edit # 1.5 because it doesn't feel like an Edit #2 just yet.

I know I need these particular scenes and this new storyline. What I find so strange is that I don't know how all of it will unfold. It seems that so much of writing is thinking. And though I am a person who wants to do, do, do, write, write, write, I need days where I do not write at all.

I need to think.

But the kind of thinking I need to do is, what I call, basement thinking. The thinking that happens when I do other things. It's not like Rodin thinking where you sit in a garden and get in position to think. You don't pose for it. It happens in metaphorical darkness, in the basement level apartment of conscious thought, when you're not even aware.

Do you set aside time to think about your novel? Or do you do basement thinking?

Or are you the kind of person who always knows what you want to say? Sometimes, I wish I was that kind of person.


  1. I've never been the sort of writer who knows what she wants to says, in my writing and other wise. I find that if I deliberately try to think of ideas for my novel, then nothing happens. However, when I'm doing something completely different and not thinking of writing at all, ideas pop into my head.

    So, I'm a basement thinker. Whilst I like this spontaneity, it doesn't always mean things get done quickly!

  2. Congrats on finishing the first draft and good luck with the editing!

  3. I do that kind of basement thinking a lot, just letting the ol' subconscious work things out. Very helpful!

  4. Oh yes, I do a lot of basement thinking. Although I sometimes put brainstorming in the front part of my brain and make an effort to focus my attention on it, it seems that my greatest breakthroughs all come about while I'm doing something else.

  5. Totally understand. Sometimes I just need to sit and think to figure things out. This is when I love long car rides, or doing the dishes or something else mindless like that. And congrats on finishing the draft! Thats huge success right there.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  6. I'm definitely a basement thinker, not only with writing. With most things in my life. I often realize that when I even make a decision its been stewing in there for a while although i was not consciously aware of it. Great post.

  7. Definitely basement thinking. I have no idea how to do otherwise.Great that you have completed the edit and discovered the potholes.
    Loved this post and will 'basement think' about it as I travel to Ireland next week ... where I may discover poetry in my mind as this is the country most condusive to my poetry basement.

  8. I NEVER know what I want to say. :-\ And I'm a total basement thinker.

  9. i think u just caught the tail end of the bbq! i still have some whiskey left over lol