Is it perfect? No. Does it have to be? No. Author and illustrator Marjane Satrapi will agree. “I am very much a fan of imperfection, actually” (Root 81). She is a well-known graphic novelist. I admire Satrapi. Satrapi has written many graphic novels, but she is most known for Persepolis. She and I as writers have many similarities even though I am not a graphic novelist. We begin our process in a trance like state that allows ones’ mind to effortlessly float on paper. We enjoy lots of brainstorming and believe in the power of visuals. I do not use illustrations in my creative work like she does. Instead I use words to create imagery in one’s mind. I am an artist of sorts, and enjoy many mediums of expression. I believe that though I do not use visuals, my creative ability is clearly illustrated just as the ink on this paper. It is black and white, or so you think.
I like to write in quiet spaces mostly, although music filled spaces can metamorphosis audible emotions into words on paper. Different spaces allow for different outcomes. Outside environments produce happy work. Home usually is reserved for serious works that require pure focus. Coffee shops make for amusing writings; I wonder why being in a room of people makes me want to crack jokes? I choose to write wherever the mood is most appropriate for my writings.
To begin brainstorming I usually start with words and phrases. I’ll ask questions to search for forgotten answers. I tend to write sentences, both long and short with incorrect grammar. I must write whatever I can quickly to relate what I am feeling at that exact moment before it leaves me. My work is jumbled and confused. Bubble map? No thanks. I embrace the chaos preferring to use many words that play with different meanings and expand as much as I can before editing.
Stop and read what was written. Do I like how it makes me feel? Do I agree with my inner beliefs? Am I lying just to paint a picture? I add to incomplete fragments and finish up the loose ends. Maybe I skip a few lines and write a few things I think would be pertinent only not sure where to put them. So now I have a flow- time to break it down and discover what I am missing, refocus and prioritize my paper. Millions of contemplations must fit in my tiny paper box.
Changing course during revision is an essential part of my process. Free flowing notions are the beginning to an end, though it may not seem that way. One word generates thousands of scenarios, with a dramatic twist I will change it up and start from a different direction. I will elaborate on numerous ideas and allow them to fill up the paper. Now I must make sure they are in order. Well, I like this sentence and this word and these groupings of words read nicely. Let’s put them together or pull them apart. Experimenting with different sentence structure, continuing to cut and paste can be a long process. Now I must reinforce this tumbling wall of words and make it more structurally sound. I can start...