The Structure

How I structure my ideas is firstly by keeping notes in any way on my reach to put down ideas. In paper, on the phone, in voice notes and written bits and pieces. Early morning, middle of the night, and during the day.

Then I expand these notes to include the details that kept coming to me with or without my authorisation. The filling of these ideas assault me in dreams, in the shower, when I go to the toiled during my working day. But they come more when I am walking.

Next I start writing what needs to be put down, the parts that if I don’t make real will keep annoying me incessantly, these are the texts that won’t go away, that will fill my thoughts and ideas until they are resting in a physical form.

Following I have to organise where it all goes and write the other bits, the ones I had only the sketches for before.

Depending on the project it doesn’t have a pre-created structure. The book I have written in Portuguese, Simplesmente Gerva, has been created in a series of emails between my co-author and myself, and we never knew what the other was going to write.

I am now writing the continuation of this book and, although I am writing on my own, I am being faithful to the proposal. I don’t know much of what is going to happen to the character, I sit down to write and let him take me wherever he wants.

Sometimes a whole idea is born from one thought, one example is the one I mentioned in another post: what would a writer do if they didn’t have the means to write and which situation would that be.

To surmise, I impose no rules to myself. Whatever works, works.

The Technique

I write using the many parts of myself. I write using both my home language, Portuguese, and my adopted language, the one of my fantasies and dreams, English. One day I may write in French, who knows. I write using the young me that lives inside and the older one. The wise and the silly. I write using my South American style, some fantastic reality, chopping off sentences (see the one just before) while writing really long paragraphs in other times.

I write with my own sense of fun, my original abilities and I have upgraded my technique with a Masters degree in Arts – Creative Writing from UTS. I am far from a literary writer, (as far as I can, actually), I aim to write in a straightforward way in plain English (or plain Portuguese, from Brazil). This was not without challenges during my studies, it was difficult to separate what was valid feedback on my style and what was my own Brazilian flavour, or what was because of the simplicity in the style. I guess I am still searching for this distinction.

I write following mostly the inspiration and the voice I found when I was seventeen, but try to give it a bit more style and maturity. I keep honing the knowledge, keep reading, listening and viewing anything that will enrich and feed my writing.

What do you Write?

Whenever I tell someone that writing is my passion they come up with the difficult question ‘what do you write?’.

‘I write letters in a blank page’ doesn’t really explain, does it?

What I do is creative writing, short stories, blogs or novels. No poetry, no journalistic pieces. I write fiction and non-fiction, although my non-fiction reads like fiction. I love writing with humour but I also get into deep depressing stories and tales, at times.

My main subjects are day-to-day adventures and relationships. I like romance.

I would probably say that there is an element of sensuality in my writing. I am an kinaesthetic person and movement of bodies attract me even in bi-dimensional black and white letters.

I write anything that inspires me.

The Tools

At the moment, I have 3 loves-of-my-life (how do you pluralise such a word?):

1) my computer — where all my ideas are stored. A present from my parents, the best ever. My lovely MacBook Air, that is the size and lightness of an ipad, with a phenomenal, smooth keypad, from a company that is aligned to my own values: creativity, design, beauty, sensuality (yes, the mac has a sensual design) and agility. I can carry it everywhere and write anywhere, and it has another love-of-my-life in it: the software for writing…

2) my scrivener — the discovery that changed my writing life. It made it very easy to keep all my ideas organised. It is also perfect for compiling projects. When creating a book you can keep the ideas for the chapters organised and then go into each part and just fill it with the actual writing. Next you are able to move the parts around, keep notes, research items, etc. Finally it exports to many formats including most, if not all, e-book publishing formats. Love, love, love it!

3) my nespresso — the food, albeit a drink, for my thoughts. With which I create magical Moccas with melted chocolate that energise my ideas. Another gift from my parents and my sister.

The WordPress in my Mind

I write because I do it anyway, even without pen and paper, or without a computer. In my head I write all the time, for everything that happens around me I create an entry in my imaginary post. I even speak as I write sometimes and the thing that would give me the biggest grief would be to be made to stop writing.

I have created stories about what would happen to me if I was made to stop writing or if I didn’t have the means to do it. In which situation would you not have access to writing? And then, what would you do?

I would go insane because when I need writing something, it enters a loop in my head and I repeat the tale over and over in my head — the dialogues or the paragraphs — until I can sit down and ‘download’ them.

If I had no access to a computer, or to pen and paper, I would have to remember everything my experiences are creating I guess my memory would expand and so would my despair.

The Positive Narrative

Searching for the reasons why I feel my writing is as essential as breathing for me, I looked at what I like in life.

I have a passion for narratives, tales, characters. In books and films, give me stories I can follow, give me well constructed characters. Give me profundity of personality and longer accounts. I love reading and watching TV series and movies; I love talking to my friends and following their lives and my favourite subjects are relationships and discussing the intricacies of how the world works.

Following that logic, I have discovered that I write to be part of the construction of people’s narratives, to influence (even if it happens to be in a small way) their choices and fate.

A fuzziness invades me every time I hear someone laughing at something I wrote, or when they say that something I created influenced their lives in a good way. I write to promote positive change and accept that sometimes it can be seen in a negative light.

I know, from experience, that changing the path of our lives is very difficult and I wish to share my stories to help creating courage in my readers to change when necessary and always move forward in their own lives.