Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Me on How I Write

i don't mean like a schedule thing, like from 9am to 11:30am i write, then i eat lunch, then at 1pm i get back to it until dinner, then again at 7pm until i go to bed and so on.

i mean the process i use, and my thoughts on outlining versus discovery writing (or, as i always thought of it, writing by the seat of your pants).

when i first got the idea during a YA fiction creative writing class last October/November (thank you to Cathy Stonehouse and the other 4 girls in that class), i went out and bought a little notebook to write down all my ideas in (why i was in a YA fiction class is a whole other story).

in the beginning all i had was a standard family feud idea, which turned into a werewolf pack family feud idea.

i have this issue with reality and why i wish we did have vampires and werewolves and shapeshifters and the like wandering around. some days, reality seems a bit boring. i get that people have interesting lives, and that i have to actually leave the house to have an interesting life, but it's that extra pop of the abnormal and the unexpected that draws me in.

once i wrote something about shifters that ran a bar, but then there was an electrical fire and they had to deal with the aftermath. it was normal, but there was that splash of the paranormal.

(end mini-rant) ;)

so, back to last fall. i started writing down a bunch of ideas in this little notebook, like character descriptions, setting/location/time period info, and a rough outline of plot ideas. now, it's about half-full and it's become a catch-all of plot point ideas, edit ideas, fine-tuning characterization, writing music suggestions, and possible sequel book rough outlines.

i'm wary of writing a totally detailed outline with fiction. when i wrote lit papers in university, i really needed outlines. with fiction, as long as i know vaguely where i want to go, i stick my headphones in and write. if i stray in the little fiddly details, it's because a better idea popped up. if i stray in a big idea, then i really have to think about why i strayed.

i know where i want the story to go, that's so important. as long as i know the destination, the journey can be as fast-paced or twisty and confusing as it wants to be.

now, as i've been working on this WIP over the last few months, and especially the last few weeks (thanks to Patrick Alan, Tawna Fenske, and #1k1hr on Twitter), i've had some good edit ideas. i've worked them in to what i'm doing now, and it kills me to keep from going back and editing before i've finished but it has to wait.

i watched a friend of mine get stuck in the revision loop, where she wrote something, got into it, then went back to edit, then went back to edit, and so on. i don't want to get stuck in that.

for the moment, my process involves writing when i can, writing to music as often as i can, and editing and revising once the first draft is done.

plus enjoying the day long plot epiphany i had yesterday. :D

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