Thursday, October 7, 2010

my writing process

I am sinking (slowly) into my revision process. I've typed up a bunch of notes, typed up an outline of the current draft (what the book is right now), and will now attempt to apply these notes to this outline. Ideally, this will create an outline of what I want the book to become.

Then I have to actually write this new book.

I often wonder if there are better ways to go about this process. Do other authors sit down, struck with inspiration, and start typing their novel on a blank page, with no notes to guide them? Is my devotion to my outlining process just a way of being lazy, or a control freak?

That said...this process has worked for me in the past, so why doubt it now? Maybe because I'm in the thick of it, staring at a lot of brightly highlighted notes and feeling daunted by all the work that lies ahead. It's exciting work, but it can make an author sink a little bit in her chair to think of it.

I'm planning on spending a lot of time on the book this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.


  1. I like the note idea. When I get a book idea, I plan the whole story out on a triangular plot diagram. You know, the narrative arc thing. Anyway, that's where my years of teaching ELA has come in handy. I try to follow my plotting as much as possible, but if something doesn't work, I allow myself lots of wiggle room.

  2. I often write notes to myself when ideas pop into my head. The problem is I'm not very often at a desk when this happens, so I have bits of torn newspaper, inside covers of books, shopping lists, envelopes to gather when I can actually sit down to put the ideas together. These scraps look like litter, but my family knows better than to touch anything with my handwriting--they've learned that these bits are the beginning of a book.