Sometimes I get these ideas for entries and start to write them down and wonder if I am boring everyone to tears. I have to step back and think, well would I be interested in a post about another writer’s process? I would. I mean, especially the successful ones, or the ones I really admire but even those who I have never heard of, I’d read their blog entries. I think it’s interesting and I can usually find something I can try or even adapt in my own processes. And then, when I see someone who does it just like me, I feel less quirky/weird/alone and I think we all need that validation.
So, my process for long fiction works (novellas and novels):
*Daydreaming and brainstorming – this part can go on for years. I do a lot of listening to music and watching my characters dance to it. Most effectively, I start to jot down ideas/impressions in a notebook (or digital file).
*Construct character/setting/plot sketches – I literally make up those kind of bios that you used to see on MySpace and such places for my characters.
*Any necessary research – I like to base my settings on fictional versions of real places. I prefer to use places I have actually spent time in, but if not, I will research the crap out of it. I also do a lot of mythology research and often history. You see how my ideas/impressions from above are slowly being fleshed out.
*Write out some scenes. – As you can see, I am some weird hybrid of plotter/pant-ser. When I start to write in actual paragraphs, I am learning more about my characters and discovering a plot. Or at least how to get from one point A to point B.
*Skip the boring parts. – some people would advise you not to HAVE any boring parts. But a lot of times, these are just places where I get stuck.
*Listen to music and daydream some more.
*Write more scenes.
*Cry – ah, I see we have arrived at the dreaded “middle of the novel”
*Write the boring parts. – suck it up, buttercup
*Piece together scenes in a logical order. – fill in the blanks. Try to fix the holes. An actual product is coming together, folks.
*NEVER FINISH A DAMN THING – I’m kidding! Kind of … I know authors with shelves full of finished but unpublished manuscripts but that just isn’t me. I’m slow and life likes to interrupt.
So all cheekiness aside, this is what works for me–a kind of controlled chaos. I like to use the Scrivener program because it seems like it was built for my process and I don’t even use half of the features. What about you? What does your process look like?