Posted Sun, 07/26/09
A turn of a phrase or a visual often makes me think about a particular story I'm working on or inspires a new idea. The other day I heard the word "porcine" and I immediately thought about the character named "Gerald Frazier" in part two (Quixotic Crossings) of Collective Obsessions. Frazier is an attorney for the main family in the story, and also conducts himself rather luridly in his private life.
In my working spreadsheet for the book, I've described Frazier as a "short man with a rounded middle, all but bald with square spectacles perched on his bulbous nose." Because of his physical appearance, I included the words "porcine mouth" in one of the scenes where Frazier is entertaining a friend under dubious circumstances. Frazier is basically a decent guy in character, but he is still immensely repulsive at almost every turn.
Re-reading parts of the book for editing purposes led me on a six-day writing marathon in which I added several new scenes in parts two and four (Quixotic Crossings and Enthrallment) of Collective Obsessions. One of the particular sessions was a death scene in Paris, whereby I gathered accurate locale descriptions for the time period (1985).
As I mentioned, my writing process is more often than not inspired by a mere word or visual scene. I'm not sure why it works that way for me, but I'm not complaining - especially when it produces a boatload of new material.