Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Writing Process

What is the writing process that I use to create my stories? To write my worlds? There is a simple answer and a long answer to that question. The simple answer is I don't really have a writing process that I advertise, the long answer is my writing process adjusts for the project that I am working on. Confused? S'okay, in trying to create a coherent explanation of what is essentially an internal process, I managed to confuse myself a little.

The Writing Process - Prewriting

Prewriting is the portion of your writing process where you do research, develop inspirational ideas or as my grandmother used to say: "you spend daydreaming to music." For me, prewriting is every day of my life. I get ideas standing in line at the grocery store, watching television, driving in the car, reading billboards and sometimes even while I'm asleep.

Not every idea I have pans out. It cracks me up sometimes when my daughter will be rambling away in the car and I'll ask her what she's talking about and she replies with: "I'm in my own world, Mommy. Just playing there." That's what prewriting is like for me; it's playing in my own world where I don't need to make the scenes flow, I don't have to explain back story and I don't need contingency plans.

The Actual Writing

My actual writing occurs differently from project to project. For example, most of this summer I've been writing Hel's Belle in 2 to 3K increments while my daughter was swimming. Another WIP that wouldn't leave me alone brain dumped nearly 40K over a three day weekend. Neither WIP is finished, but I am working diligently to finish Hel's Belle before going back to The Rapture.

The key point for me in writing is that I avoid editing while writing. At a recent presentation, Rachel Caine described her process as including reading the 30 pages previous to where she is writing in part to edit and in part to get herself back into that mental space of the story. While I don't go back 30 pages, I do backtrack some particularly if it's been more than a day since I was writing or I've had trouble with a scene.

I also don't let myself get hung up. If a scene isn't working, I stop it and move on to the next. Occasionally what I find is that the scene that wasn't working really isn't necessary.

Editing, Revising and Publishing

I discussed critique writing steps yesterday and I've talked about my editing process previously so I don't really feel the need to get into that here.

So to answer the initial question: what is the writing process that I use? I prewrite to discover the world I want to write about and then I write for myself, I write for pure pleasure. The work begins when I hit the editing and revising and incorporating my critique partner's feedback.

What is your writing process?

1 comment:

  1. Hi ;)
    Thanks for sharing.
    I start with an idea and a character and let that "channel" through me. I write. Like you actually. The revision & editing fleshes out and leans it, if that makes sense.
    Love and best wishes,