May 25th, 2006

I’m currently sitting at three and a half pages shy of 80K with my book. I hope to surpass that and then some today. The last two books I’ve written have taught me so many things about my process that I thought I’d share it in a meme. 🙂 And yes, before you ask, I’m brain fried and can’t think of anything else to blog about. *ggg* So without further ado…

1. I’ve learned that when writing a single title I can’t take breaks longer than a day or I lose the rhythm.
2. I’ve learned that if I take part of the day off it’s next to impossible to get back into the writing afterwards.
3. I’ve learned that I have to have the book charted out by chapter in order to write quickly. (Doesn’t mean it can’t change later, but something has to be down on paper beforehand.)
4. I’ve learned that I have to write something everyday in order to keep writing a habit…even during my down time. It doesn’t have to be very long, but I have to write.
5. I’ve learned that asking the characters to tell you their version of the story deepens your understanding of the characters and reveals hidden motivation.
6. I’ve learned that I can write more than romance, which is something I never believed until recently.
7. And finally, I’ve learned that I can’t blog worth a crap when I’m nearing the end of a manuscript. 🙂

The things I’ve learned writing the Blaze and this current book will save me time and heartache later. I think it’s important to figure out what works for you and incorporate it in every project. I’m still growing and learning about what works and what doesn’t, but it’s getting there. What have you learned about your writing process? Is there something you should be doing/or not doing when you write?

19 comments to “Mini-MeMe”

  1. At least your brain dead, can’t think of anything to blog about is a lot better than mine. *gg*

    I’ve learned that I can’t force a writing session – not that I can’t write something, I can always write something. I just can’t always force that particular story – if I do, it looks forced. I’m still trying to find a way to make that work.

  2. Eve, That’s a good thing to know about yourself. It gives you the opportunity to work on something else. 🙂

  3. I have to write every day, even if it’s just a blog entry. And it helps to get me started if I open the file right away, so that I can see it on the Start bar. Oh and I need to force myself to start writing when I wake up. I just can’t get into that headspace first thing in the morning, for some reason.

  4. May, I can’t write first thing in the morning. I’m just happy to be breathing at that point. LOL!

  5. I’ve learned to trust my gut–if it feels wrong/off etc chances are it is.

    And like you I have to write every day. I’ve also learned that pen and paper are my friend.

    I kinda suck at external plot, and it really got me in trouble on the last book, so I’m learning to look for it and flesh it out in the synopsis for the next couple proposals.

  6. It’s a shame though I can’t just write “and they have great sex a lot” at the end of the synop LOL

  7. Hmm, food for thought. I think I’ll do this meme in my blog! : D I agree with you on taking days off. It’s a bad idea in the middle of a project.

  8. Cece, I think we all wish we could say something like that in a synopsis. LOL! I hear you on using pen and paper. It’s one of the quickest ways for me to get unstuck. 🙂

  9. Charli, Cool on doing your own MeMe. I have problems taking days off from writing when I’m NOT in the middle of a project. :/

  10. Hmm… I’d say from 1, 2, and 4 apply to me too. Then I’d add:

    I’ve learned that I’m a pantser and write in the story in non-sequence and figure out what to put where when editing.

    I’ve learned I’m a slow writer. It takes me weeks, and sometimes months, to write a simple 20K story. *shrugs*

    I’ve learned that I strive on competition to write.

    I’ve learned that it’s okay to go through periods of when I don’t write.

  11. Good for you, Silma! I’m finding that the more I know about my process the easier it is to write. Keep up the writing. 😀

  12. I’ve learned that I can be a complete bonehead: I learn a lot about my process in book A. I completely forget everything for book B. I relearn the same lesson, then forget it all again for book C. I wish this was a joke. 🙁

  13. I can relate to much of what you said, Jordan. Once I get distracted and start checking chat loops, blog-hopping, or wondering what I’ll write for my next blog post it’s really hard to get my focus back where it belongs. It’s amazing how quickly the hours can fly by without my accomplishing much of any real importance. I try very hard to keep off the Internet until I’ve reached my writing goal for the day. I admire writers like you who post to your blogs on pretty much a daily basis and yet still get your writing done. That takes discipline. I can only manage to write one to two blog posts per week.

  14. I’ve learned that my characters are always a lot more complicated than I intend when I begin. *sigh*

    I’ve learned that some unexpected twist or surprise always develops when I least expect it and scares the beJesus out of me (until I accept and run with it).

    I’ve also learned that I write best with pen and paper, which was an AGONIZING discovery, since I already write very slowly.

  15. Jo, Believe it or not, that’s why I wrote a blog about my process. I needed to document it, so that I had a quick reference. Try writing it down. Good luck with the books. I know you’re swamped.

  16. Daisy, That’s not a bad thing. I’m sure my blogs would be a whole lot more interesting if I spaced the entries. Yours are at least highly entertaining. 😉

  17. Raine, There’s something about composing on paper that gets the mental juices flowing. I truly do write portions of every book on paper. I have to, it’s the only way I can work chapters out. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Your process is your process.

  18. Before starting my current WIP, I was trying to tweak my process for creation, and at the same time reading Robert McKee’s story. After the brain melted and rehardened during the cold winter I learned that a detailed scene outline helps me write WAY better than before and minizes revision time. I learned if I include what my story questions are for each scene, I can get a better scene. I learned that I need to know more about my genre than my audience, so I exceed, not just meet expectations. (Will I master this? Not without a few scrapes.) I learned that I hate writing in the morning, and that if I write around the same time each night, one scene per night, I cook! Last, I learned writing is grueling and invigorating at the same time, and definately the province of the slightly mad.

  19. Ursula, Brava! Wonderful realizations. Thank you for sharing. A few hit quite close to home. 😉