Blogfest time!! Since I'm doing a post today, I probably won't do one tomorrow but come back Friday for my rad Aspiring Author interview with Michelle Merrill who will also be doing an Aspiring Author interview of me on her blog! I know, hurts your brain to think about it doesn't it? Kinda like the space-time continuum. It's SO awesome and cool and mind blowing that you can't possibly wrap your mind around it.
Shallee McArthur over at Life, the Universe and Writing created this awesome-sauce blogfest. We are to give our pearls of wisdom and insight as to what our writing process is all about. Get ready to be blown away peeps, cause here is the infinite wisdom that is my writing erm...process (take a drink for every time I say "writing process" on this blog...there's 4 already if you count the title):
Uh, I don't really have one...
Well, not one that's tried and true and works like a charm every time. Because I've only written one book. So my writing process is still being sorted out.
But here's the gist of it (my writing process, I mean)
Once I have an idea in my head (and that can come from anywhere...usually it comes while I'm mindlessly scanning books for an hour and half to ship out to various libraries across the state) I have to write it down or else it'll float away to that place only awesome ideas and dreams go when you don't write them down. And you can never get them back.
Then I'll sit down to write out everything I know about my characters. I usually have my main character- she comes to me first. Her personality speaks to me, and I start to form an image in my head. Next comes the love interest and the conflict. I write down names, places, possible world names and city names, the villain (or whatever the antagonizing force is), descriptions of the characters and finally a loose plot of what my story will be about. During that time I will add to it as things come to me. With my current WIP, I had a notebook of stuff quite a while before I even started writing it.
So then I sit down to write. As I write, I take breaks to look up words that will give me ideas of what kind of new words I can create for my world. For my current WIP I used a lot of Irish words and changed them just a bit to make them my own. I drew a map of the world, and came up with names for the cities. I didn't come up with a name for my provinces and world until I was about 25k into my book. I put words like WORLD and CITY 1 in and then when I figured out the names I did a find/replace.
I didn't do an outline, I just had my general idea and order of conflicts written down. This is where I'm a pantser. I just wrote as I went, and ideas and conflicts came to me as I wrote. I then would write that down on my notes sheet so I wouldn't forget. I also have a running list of names I use so I don't use them again.
Then as I go deeper into my story I have to start making an outline (probably when I'm about 3/4 of the way through, and nearing the major climax). Because my characters start finding things out, and figuring things out and I need to write down when this all happens so I don't get confused as to who knows what and when. I also write a timeline, what happens on what days and how many days have passed so when my character goes "we've been traveling for 5 days!" it really is 5 days and not really 7 because I haven't been paying attention or something. Readers will pick up on that, and those are the worst continuity errors.
I also somewhat edit as I go, so it takes me a long time to write. It took me about a year and a half to write my current 94,000 word WIP (I am leaving out about 6 months where I didn't write because we bought our first house- totally craziness). But I spend a lot of time thinking and staring at my screen and coming up with the best possible sentence, and best possible paragraph, and best possible dialogue. I don't just write willy nilly, burning a hole through my erm..keyboard (although my keyboard has burnt me at times...stupid laptop..). I really really wish I could crank out that sucker in 3 months like some people. Okay, I guess I also have like, a part time job, a 5 year old and tv shows that I religiously watch. Oh and a hubs..did I forget him? So that takes up some time too.
I'm hoping as I write more novels, it'll become easier for me to write faster and write more frequently. And I can't tell you that this writing process will work for my next novel. It may be completely different. I may plot the whole thing out, outlines and all. Or I may just wing it and see where it takes me. I think each person's writing process can change and morph so it suits the author AND the novel.
So, you nice and drunk now? Shhh, I won't tell your boss you've been slipping sips each time I say "writing process" from the flask you bought at walmart in the liquor aisle from one of those pull off things where there's like 10 flasks just hanging there. Next to the packages of straws.
Go check out Shallee's blog to find out some of the other awesome bloggers' writing processes. I am sure theirs will be way more coherent than mine.
For the record I said "writing process" 11 times including the one in this sentence. YESSSSSS!
(okay 12 if you count the label)