If you read the title of this post you already know what I’m going to be talking about. My writing process isn’t so much of a process, it’s more like unorganized notes and ideas and everything about a plot I may or may not decide to follow.
For someone who loves to be organized and plan things out, I really suck at doing that when it comes to writing.
However, as I start on a new journey with a new story I really am trying to plot this thing out. Scene by scene.
A resource that has really been helping during this process is Susan Dennard’s (author of Truthwitch) website. She has some really amazing posts about all of the many stages of writing a book, and I’m sort of obsessed with her site.
The first thing I do when I want to start a new story might seem a bit weird. I like to visualize a few scenes in my head that I feel will be crucial to the plot, and I pick songs that I feel work well with those scenes. From there, I create a playlist and then a Pinterest inspiration board. My stories usually start with one or two ideas that I get during these brainstorming sessions, and then I build on them from there.
I like to listen to the playlist I’ve made while I’m lying in bed, or walking to the bus stop, or basically any chance I get. I’m always thinking about my story, always planning and plotting what might happen next or later on in the story.
Sometimes I find it beneficial to put myself in my character’s head before I even start really writing the story. It helps me to get to know who they are and how they will act throughout the story.
Once I’ve done some brainstorming and thinking about my characters, then I start planning out the chapters. This is usually done in messy scribbles on scrap pieces of paper, or in a notebook.
The process only gets crazier from there. I spend days and days scribbling notes, and even sometimes jotting down scenes. I hardly ever write in order, which can prove to be challenging, especially in keeping consistent to the story. Part of me prefers writing all the epic, dramatic scenes first, but that leaves the less action-filled scenes to last, and then I find they don’t always turn out so well because you go from writing a well-developed character to one that may not be so developed. I find doing this a bit difficult, but usually end up doing it anyway.
Many weeks later, once I feel that I have completed a first draft, I step away from it for a few days before I even consider looking at it from an editorial point of view. I find this helps me to distance myself from it a bit, so I can look at it somewhat subjectively.
I talk about editing like it’s easy. It’s not. However, I personally believe that editing is easier than writing the first draft because you already have the story to work with and you’re just tweaking/rewriting parts of it. That doesn’t mean a part of me doesn’t hate editing. I totally do. I want to be able to write a perfect first draft, but that’s highly impossible.
There are so many steps in the writing process, and they are different for every writer. Writing a book takes time, effort, passion, tears, and a million other things, but I absolutely love it.
What is your writing process like?