Monday, April 1, 2013

My Writing Process

So much for a final blog post! Ha! Not that any one is still following after such a long absence, but . . .

Outlines are not something I do. Okay, I sometimes do a conversational outline, as in a few sentences that I want to insert into the novel somewhere, somehow, or someway. I've also been known to jot down a few scenes I want to include as well, but . . .

. . . nothing in-depth. It's just not me.

Nope, not even with my current project, if you thought that's where this post is going.

I consider my current project the caterpillar to butterfly metamorphosis project because - like the caterpillar emerging from its egg, slowly eating and growing until it decides to spin its cocoon, then wait, wait, wait, and slowly emerge as a beautiful butterfly - that is how my current project has been proceeding.

It started, as most of my projects do, with a simple concept. I didn't have a beginning, middle, or end in mind, only the barest concept of what I wanted to do.

Oh, I had a main character and a peripheral character or two, well, seven or so, but the number doesn't really matter. Okay, I had way less than seven in the beginning, and probably have more than that by now. Ha!

The main concept was there, and that's all I needed. Then, like the caterpillar slowly eating and eating and eating, the concept grew and grew, the ideas expanded outward, more characters were added and the words flowed like liquid gold. Within two weeks, I had written over 20,000 words. That's a MAJOR record for me, btw. Now, about six weeks into the project, I'm at 70,000 + words, about 325 pages . . . and still going, though nearing the end.

The thing is, with my mind and how it works, the more I write, the more ideas come to mind, and, unfortunately, the more I have to go back and insert a chapter here, there, and everywhere.

First, the main character was just a main character. Her identity was set in stone. I knew where she had been, where she wanted to go, and I only had to get her there.

Well, something funny happened on the way to the forum (old joke, look it up, Google is your friend) . . . and this singular character suddenly had another identity. No, not a super hero concept. Still, the dual identity became important for her, and another character in the book as well. Then, it all spiraled out of control and . . .

. . . the words continued to flow.

Oh, then there were the Four Talismans, quite important to the overall story, three of which I identified early on, but the fourth seemed to elude me. Yes, yes, yes, just eliminate the fourth, but, the number four was integral to the tale, so, well, I needed a fourth. Yesterday, in a bit of inspired creativity on my part, perhaps genius, the fourth revealed itself to me while I was writing a chapter. Woo-hoo!

Thus has been this entire writing experience: revealments (nope, not a word, but using it) left, right, up, down, hither and thither, and even some yonder. With each word I write, each paragraph, and chapter, more and more comes together in my mind.

This is only the rough draft, so it's not a big deal to make a note such as "Change this to that since this happened before that happened". It's not a big deal to go back and insert chapters for a guiding force character that, originally, wasn't intended to be anything more than a casual reference throughout the book. Who knew that character decided she wanted more in this novel than a reference here and there? I sure as heck didn't, but . . . more often than not, my characters seem to have a mind of their own. LOL!

So, if outlining is not for you, and seat of the pants writing is, go for it! Don't worry if countless books out there tell you outlining is the only way to write. The only true way to right, is what works best for you!!


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