A Merchant of Moments

Author Ken La Salle
Author Ken La Salle

Guest Post
by Ken La Salle

As a writer, I have occasion to be caught by surprise by this thing called writing. Even after writing for most of my life, there are things about it that remain as fresh as the day I set down my first sentence.

This is the story about just such a thing.

Back in July of this year, I took a road trip with my wife across the American west. From California to Arizona to New Mexico to Colorado, we drove. From there, we headed north through Utah and Wyoming and Idaho into Washington. We ended the trip with a drive south along the coast.

This drive south reminded me of a woman I had recently interviewed for my podcast and I considered the landscapes I had recently witnessed and continued to enjoy as I pieced a story together in my head. I find driving is great for this kind of exercise. Even with my focus turned to the road, with music blasting on the radio, I can grab a minute here and there extracting puzzle pieces of a narrative from my brain until I have constructed a story I enjoy. Continue reading “A Merchant of Moments”

Subconscious of Your Writing Part 2 by Ken La Salle

Author Ken La Salle
Author Ken La Salle

This is the second part of my piece on subconscious writing. In Part One, I discussed outlining versus what some call “pantsing.” (Kat Brooks explained this to me as “writing by the seat of your pants,” which I believe explains it quite well.) But what happens after you’ve begun whatever it is you’re writing? How does subconscious writing play a part then?

I think one of the things that makes subconscious writing so difficult to explain is the whole “subconscious” part of it. So, please bear with me as I try to explain what I mean.

As I wrote my last novel, I had no clear idea what I was trying to say. I had started it with a specific image in mind. But that image must have stirred connections in my mind because I found it so filled with consequence that the image was truly just the starting point. Continue reading “Subconscious of Your Writing Part 2 by Ken La Salle”

Subconscious of Your Writing Part 1 by Ken La Salle

Author Ken La Salle
Author Ken La Salle

The other day, I found myself saying “A lot of my writing is very subconscious.” This wasn’t the first time I had said that and wondered if I was unique or if other writers also find themselves writing just as much with their subconscious mind as with their conscious mind. But this time I decided to find out, which I suppose explains the piece you are reading right now.

So, what exactly do I mean when I say that my writing is subconscious? When I tell my wife, she just figures that if I’m writing – wide awake and aware of what I’m doing – I must be conscious of it, and rightly so. “Subconscious writing” makes about as much sense as “subconscious accounting”… doesn’t it? Continue reading “Subconscious of Your Writing Part 1 by Ken La Salle”