My Out-of-Body Experience
As he pressed his beat-up Ford down an uneven stretch of asphalt, Rob Shields had death on his mind. His own.
That’s the first two sentences of the first chapter of Darlington Woods. I’ve just started reading over the “first pages” looking for any typos that survived the first umpteen readings and making minor changes to word choice and such. This is also my last opportunity to catch any glaring contradictions in the plot or characters before the work goes to the proofreader then printer and is etched in stone for all of eternity (well, not quite).
It’s a surreal feeling, reading over your words after not having done so for a couple months. Almost an out-of-body experience. Oh, don’t worry. I’m not getting all new age on you (the title made you wonder, though, didn’t it?). I haven’t watched myself write from the perspective of floating near the ceiling . . . yet. Kidding.
Seriously, there are times when I have no recollection of writing certain sections of the book, the words are totally foreign to me.
No, I’m not claiming divine inspiration. No, I wasn’t on drugs when I conceived it. But I may have been half-asleep. I wrote most of Darlington Woods in the evenings, right before turning in for the night. And more than once (actually, just about every time) I was falling asleep while writing. I’d sit in bed with the laptop, write, nod off, write, nod off, and that’s how it went.
So it’s quite possible portions of the story were written while I was in Slumberville. Interesting. And a bit scary.
Scary because it’s just what my next offering, Darkness Follows, is about. A man continuously awakens to strange and unlikely writings penned by his own hand. These writings at first haunt, then control him. (Note: The first chapter of Darkness Follows will be available at the end of Darlington Woods.)
Now, my writings have haunted me from time to time but have yet to control me. I’m a particular kind of person, but I’m not obsessive (though Jen may disagree at times).
Have you ever written something, set it aside, then reread it only to think, “I wrote that?”