I’m a visual person. I don’t think in words so much as in pictures. Where one person might internally say to themselves, “Hmm. I’m going to get a cup of coffee,” I typically see a steaming coffee cup in my mind’s eye. My brain might go so far as to mumble, “Ooh, coffee,” but that’s the height of my internal verbal skills– just call me Caveman Kharis.
When I’m thinking of a story, I experience the same phenomenon. There’s no, “Wouldn’t it be cool if I wrote a story about a guy and a girl falling in love?” (Super original idea, I know). Instead, I see short films projected by my imagination: a boy meeting a girl in a yellow dress; the two of them sitting across from one another in a cafe, laughing; a first kiss on a rooftop; etc. etc.
Those films are my “buttons.” As I write a story I get bits and pieces of it in these little pictures, then sew them together. Everything between is the thread: the transition material that carries you from one button to the next, linking them all together. Whether Sandra Cisneros’ buttons are like mine, I don’t know, but it sounds like our process is the same. What I’m interested in discovering is, are all of our processes the same? Does everyone sew together buttons? Do we all have bits and pieces that we start with and then connect, or does anyone out there see every detail before they begin? I get little pictures at first, but does anyone else get hit with the whole picture (beginning, end, major plot points, transitions, the works) all at once? I want to know.
If you don’t identify with this quote, I’d like to hear from you and get some varying perspectives on writing processes. Shoot me a comment and let me know how you’re different!
Today’s Prompt: There’s been a horrible tragedy at the button factory. Write a newspaper article about it.