Thursday, May 06, 2010

The process

Today I'm going to tell you how I write. It'll be short and sweet.

When I sit down to write a book, I begin with an idea. That's pretty much were everyone starts. I then figure out who these people are who will act out the story I want to tell. With Defender of the Crown, I spent several weeks planning out the in depth history of these characters until I knew everything there was to know about them. With my WiP, though, I simply wrote out a paragraph for each person, described what they look like, and then a brief sentence or two about their history.

After I know who is acting, I plot out what they're going to do. For this book that I'm working on, I wrote out a chapter-by-chapter outline that contained little plot arcs for each chapter, and then tied those into the over-arcing plot of the entire book. I always use my outline as a guide, though. Not the blueprint that must be followed exactly. This way, when I have ideas for more miniature plots, I can write them in without having to think about them in advance.

After I write a first draft (the WiP will be about 25k words) I let it sit for a couple of days, and then I read through it. I first check for consistency and continuity in the plot, and then I look for areas where the characters seem dull, flat, or boring. I fix those areas, and then make sure that my voice doesn't come across as me telling the story. I use active descriptions in the re-writes, show the progression of the plot, and flesh out any descriptions that need to be worked on. Sometimes I even add whole scenes and sub-plots to the story (like I did in Defender). This process brings the word count up to 45k-70k.

From there I send the book out to beta readers. I listen to their advice, edit, check for grammar and punctuation errors, and then I start to send it out.

So that's how I write. Any questions?

1 comment:

  1. Sounds a bit like a loose version of the snowflake method. Personally I do a rough outline and then word vomit until I'm done. The problem is that I then have to cut - a lot.

    You're method sounds much more organized.