March 23rd, 2006
Endings & Internet Diets

Patrice has been discussing her writing process over the last few weeks. Answering a question she posed on her blog got me thinking about what I require in order to write a book. An idea for a story is a given, but I actually need much more than that before I can write. I tend to come up with the opening scene fairly quickly or at least a scene close to the opening, and then I build from there. Here’s where the writing process gets weird for me. I HAVE to know how the book ends before I can dive in and start writing past that opening scene.

Now I know a lot of writers out there want the book to come as a surprise to them as they’re working. For me, the middle section is a complete and total surprise. *g* BUT, in order for me to weave the tale, I must know my final destination. Which means I have to know how the book will end. I kind of equate the whole process to following a trail. What can I say? I’m weird and it works for me. 🙂

Onto the internet diet…I’m not getting as much done as I would like. I know my biggest time suck comes from fiddle-farting online. So with that in mind, I plan to put myself on an internet diet starting next week. I HAVE to get this book done ASAP. I’m not strong enough to sit at my desk and not surf or play games or read blogs, etc. You get the picture. Which means, I’m going to check my emails in the morning, maybe make a blog entry, then stay away from the computer until I have my daily word count in. I expect that the first few days of this will be ‘difficult’ (Kind of like trying to wean yourself off chocolate.), but it’s necessary. I am becoming far too much of an internet writer and not enough of a novel writer. Can’t finish books that way. It’s time to reorganize and refocus. I’m sure you all understand. Let the withdrawals begin. *ggg*

16 comments to “Endings & Internet Diets”

  1. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I honestly don’t know until the muses tell me – I’m being truthful here. Sometimes it feels as if a story is being dictated to me and when I tell people that I can’t finish a story yet, I mean it. Sometimes the muses take off on little trips, get drunk, sleep around and then come dragging their butts back home in slings. But sometimes a book is entirely my own, and yeah, I know the ending then. (gotta run, the white coats are coming *gg*)

    Re: internet diet. That’s not gonna cause cramps or benders, is it?:)

  2. Eve, I have to kind of wrangle the muses, instead of the other way around. I can’t afford to wait for them to get it together or I guarantee I’d never finish a book if I did. *ggg* As for the cramps and benders, I anticipate both. LOL!

  3. I usually start knowing what the first scene is and work from there. Sometimes I know where I’m heading, but more often than not the whole journey is a total surprise. Luckily this seems to work for me. I can’t imagine trying to work to an outline. My inner muse is in convulsions just thinking about it *g*

    Internet diet – that’s a great term for it. I started writing full time this year, and I knew I’d get nothing done if I left my computer on all the time. Like you, I check email in the morning and then turn the computer off until I take a break mid-day. I work on a laptop with no internet capability or take myself off to my favorite cafe with my alphasmart.

  4. It all depends on the shower. There’s something about taking a full-blown shower that stimulates my brain. *lol* Once I came out of shower with the first 9 chapters of a merpeople romance story. Another time I came out with 4 chapters (the first two chapters, and two other ones that fell somewhere in the middle) of a contemporary romance. Then there was a time in which I wrote the prologue and the epilogue only. That’s the method to my madness.

  5. Shelly, I wish I would’ve coined internet diet, but I read it on another blog. *g* I think I’m going to have to get myself out of the house in order to get anything done. (I’ll be too tempted to cheat if I stay home.) I’ll probably grab my Neo and go see in the bookstore that’s down the street.

  6. Silma, I only get snippets when I take walks. Not much comes to me in the shower or the bath. That’s great that you receive inspiration there. I wish I did. 🙂

  7. I need a roadmap of sorts, but I allow myself to veer off course and investigate other routes along the way…but like you, I need to know my destination. Zig Zigfield’s tapes are a great source of entertainment and inspiration for me, and one of his sayings is “How can you hit a target you don’t have?” – which I take to heart. Works for me, anyhoo…lol.

    I meant to thank you for posting when Kat died – I’m delighted someone else found that photo of the farmer shooting milk to the cats interesting. *grin*

  8. Sunny, That’s exactly what I need…a destination. Yeah, that photo reminded me so much of my grandpa and the cats. Sorry for your loss. 🙁

  9. Actually, your plotting method is a bit like mine…

    But an “internet diet”??! Ack! And you just KNOW something exciting’s gonna happen while you’re offline being good and all! :-O

  10. I tend to plan, plan, plan. Only when I know roughly what’s meant to happen and when do I start on the writing. This doesn’t mean it’s cast in stone. Changes do happen along the way – generally as a result of the characters coming to life (and I know there are some writers who claim you shouldn’t lose control of your characters, but I like when that happens).

    Good luck with the internet diet. I know of several writers trying to do the same as you at the moment. Of course, it means we shall miss you – but at least your book might get written. *g*

  11. Yay!! for your internet diet!! So good for you. I tell you, my life is much happier without surfing. (I also get more work done…) *g* ((hugs))

  12. Raine, 🙂 I actually plot by writing a sentence or two describing events in sequential order and then asking the characters to tell me what happens in the story. I write everything they say down. I do this for the h/h and the villain, so that all the blanks are filled in. BUT, I can’t do any of that until I have the beginning and ending of the story clearly in my mind. *g*

    As for the internet, Murphy’s Law tells me all kinds of cool things will happen while I’m away, but I know I’ll live without the knowledge. 😉

  13. Diane, I often have changes to the sequential list I come up with, but rarely to the ending beyond a tweak of a line or two. I think a lot of authors are realizing what a time suck the internet is. It’s fun, for sure, but also anti-productive.

  14. Sylvia, I’m sure mine will be too. They have to be more productive. I have no alternative. :O

  15. Hehe, we share a brainwave here. I too need a first chapter pretty soon, and I need to know the end.

    But I also need some ideas what’s going on in the middle, which probably has to do with the genre. You can’t write hist fic without a basic concept and research background. 😉

  16. Gabriele, *g* I know a bit of what will happen in the middle, but it’s more fluid than the beginning and the end for me.