Monday, April 21, 2014

Writing Process

The ever-fabulous Hart Johnson/Alyse Carlson tagged me in a blogging challenge that had to do with sharing our writing process, so what the heck? Here we go!

First off, I’ve always got ideas percolating in my head when it comes to stories. I’ve learned to wait until one story bullies all the others aside and demands to be told (don’t ask where the ideas come from, because I’m thinking aliens).

Then I sit down with my baby name book and find the most suitable names for the main characters. Seems like a weird thing to do, right? I know name choice doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it’s one of the biggies in my process. In The Earth Angels books, the descendants of the Nephilim all had names related to their angelic progenitors. Every time I used their name, I was anchored to the concept that these characters I was writing about had a huge burden to deal with—the burden of not being as human as they would like to be.

Then I start with a chapter-by-chapter outline. 

I usually do this by putting pen to paper, rather than crawling under my laptop. Again, I don’t know why, but for me there’s something just so personal, even intimate, about writing in longhand. And as I put all the thoughts in order, it’s like a movie unfolds in my head. If I have big, pivotal scenes that don’t have a bridge connecting them, I pick at it until one shows up. This detailed outline might take a day or a week, but by the end of it, I’ve got an entire book ready to go.

Then comes the actual writing.

The first draft, for me, is this:

I don’t sweat the details too much during the first draft. If I’ve got a problem, I highlight it in bright neon yellow and move on. If I need to plug something into the plot, I use Track Changes in MS Word to make a note of it. But beyond that, it’s nothing but writing. Three or four hours a day of word-making usually yields around 2k-3k, and that’s my goal on non-EDJ days. I stick to that schedule religiously, and that’s how I get things done.  And that’s the whole point, right?

I was supposed to contact fellow writers and ask what their process is, but I thought I had until the 28th to do it (apparently I put the Pro in procrastinate, heh). So I didn’t get around to it (sorry,Hart/Alyse!), but since process was a Twitter convo I had with Jodie Griffin and Kinsey Holley about three weeks ago, I’m throwing that post in from Kinsey as well.

Do you have a writing process?

1 comment:

  1. Oh, you silly rule-breaker you. I know your life has been crazy though. And I am totally with you on longhand notes--my longhand is much more creative than my typy fingers.