My Writing Process

Loril Maclaughlin tagged me in a writing blog hop. I am supposed to describe my writing process. I am also supposed to nominate three other people, but that feels like too much effort right now. So I am skipping that part.

One scene to the next . . .

This is difficult for me, because I don’t have much of a writing process. There are probably only two similarities for every story I’ve ever written.

1)      I am a panster.

2)      I need to have some idea of what the ending will be, at least for anything over 500 words.

I know from past experience I have difficulty writing stories when I don’t know the ending. They have a tendency to meander.

So . . . My Writing Process

I usually start with the idea for a setting or a character. Plot comes third, if it comes at all. Sometimes I will know

For novel length or almost novel length fiction, I do prewriting first. For me, prewriting consists of short scenes or stories. This lets me get to know the character, explore the world and maybe figure out major events in the story itself. It fills in background, lets me know what sort of childhood antics my character got up to.

I prewrite until I have idea what the ending will be and until I feel I know the character well enough to pants my way through the whole book. I cannot begin to emphasize how important that is, because I usually have no idea what the plot is.

I have tried outlining and I’ve blogged out about it before. But my outline is basically a timeline of events, and if I don’t know what the events are, well, they don’t exist on the outline. Which makes it less than useful. I mean, it is a good way to keep track of events. I thought it was working, but eventually, I found that writing from the outline does not work for me.

So back to how I write. Sometimes, usually, most often I will know some of the main events. I write to those. I write from scene to scene, aiming to end up in the nearest main even.

Lots of times I stop mid-scene when I reach the end of my word count for the day. I have never done it on purpose, but I am thinking about it. It hasn’t hurt me any. And I think maybe ending like that makes it easier to pick up the next day.

So that’s it. I write from one scene to the next until the reach the end I had in mind before I begin.

Mind, this doesn’t include chapters. In the first draft I don’t know where one chapter ends and the other begins. That’s something to figure out after I finish. Is that strange? Maybe it is. From what I’ve read of other people’s processes, a lot of other people have chapters from the get go.

If I don’t know what the character is doing next, I go back and reread, and find a missing thread or take another look at the character’s motivation. You know, look for where I went wrong.

This is how I write.