Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Figuring Out Your Writing Process....

I remember a point where I thought everyone "wrote" the same way. Then I realized there were "plotters" and "pantsers." 
I was a pantser.
BUT... I was fascinated with plotters and I wanted to learn more. I took in the "plotting" ideas and really sat down and tried it... 
It wasn't for me.
I felt awful! Yes - I seriously felt guilty because I was not a plotter. I just thought that had to be the best way to write. It made so much sense and I could see how useful it was.
But I couldn't do it!

So I came to the conclusion that it's okay if you're NOT a plotter. Even pantsers write awesome books and I can to! All I had to do was figure out how "I" wrote a book. Here's how I work...
  • I write! Yeah, since I'm a pantser - I just take the idea in my head and go with it. I do take some time to consider characters and such before hand, but most of their personality comes out on paper.
  • I consider my 1st draft my outline. There is so much wrong with it, but it get the ideas out of me and gives me something to work with.
  • I try not to edit while writing. That being said... I think it's impossible not to edit anything while writing. So let me explain. I try not to worry about the editing. But... (like in an outline,) when I notice something that I need to work on, or add to help build the story, build the plot line, characters, whatever - I add it! Or I at least leave a little comment note in the margin so I remember what I need to add or work on.
  • I thought I would dread revisions and editing, but I am actually looking forward to it. Weird, huh? But I am excited to see the book grow and improve and become polished!
  • I've decided patience is a virtue. (Took me a while to catch on, right?) But, I don't want to rush it. I want to take my time and really put something good out there. Originally I wanted to start to query my YA book by summer. But... I've noticed that taking a while to really make your book ROCK - is worth it. So while I'm going to work my butt off ... I am going to take my time with edits, revisions, crits and betas before I jump into action.
And that is what I have figured out about my writing process. What is your writing process like?

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21 comments:

Cristina said...

oh the writing process... I'm still trying to discover mine. I make a rough outline of where I think I want my story to go. And what I have recently discovered is that characters have minds of their own and they don't give a damn about my outline.. which is pretty exciting, really.
As far as editing, I edit some as I go along.. I can't not do it.. it's terrible, LOL

I can't wait to have my first draft completely finished so that I can go back and really work on fixing it.. I think, or I hope I will really enjoy it.

Judy said...

I thought I was a panster, then I finished my second manuscript, and started on the third. I realized I didn't know where the story was going, and I was frustrated. It wasn't fun. That being said, if I plot too much, the characters will rebel and go their own way. So, I'm a bit of both. Good for you for figuring out your process!

Angela Cothran said...

I've begun to really love editing too. I think it's because everything is so shiny afterwards :)

Cortney Pearson said...

Your blog is so cute too! I remember the header being different...Love it! Glad you've found a great rhythm for writing. My writing process has changed. I used to be a pantser and just write, but I found that often led to the soggy middle syndrome. This past NaNo I decided to try plotting and discovered that I am totally a PLOTTER!! I work better knowing what needs to happen and when, to making sure I have enough conflict in a scene before I write it, to make sure each scene has a purpose. I'm finding it saves me a lot of future editing time and rewriting!

E.R. King said...

Everyone has to find their own writing process. Not one of us is like the other, just as our writing voice is unique, too. It's great that you look forward to each step of the process. That's the key, isn't it? To love what you do!

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Oh, you know me. Not even close to a plotter. But that's okay! :D That's just how I roll. My writing process is pretty straight forward. Write it, edit the crap out of it. Send it to betas, edit again, send to more betas, edit again and send to a few more and then it's hopefully shiny enough to send to my agent. Hopefully. ;)

J. A. Bennett said...

I'm a pantser at heart! I plotted my last novel but then I repolotted it about 12 times. Those are some great tips!

Michael Offutt, Expert Critic said...

I plot everything out before I write my story. I feel more comfortable that way because it gives me a direction to move toward.

S.P. Bowers said...

Actually that's fairly close to my writing process. That patience part though...I have to keep learning that over and over again.

Kristin Baker Przybyla said...

I HAVE to plot! I outline like crazy, the more detailed the better. I haven't had a day of writer's block since I started outlining. But I don't do extensive character charts, interviews, and all the other techniques for character development (except for basic lists reminding me what they look like and a bit of their back story), because I've noticed my characters ignore me and develop their personalities on their own.

Iain said...

The first book I wrote was a pantser. (it was a pile of old pants as well! (English slang for rubbish)).
The books after that have all been plotted. I plot the main points of each chapter, and then when I write them out in fiull, all the detail floods out.

Kelley said...

Haha. I felt like I was reading about my style. No lie. Every step is the same as mine.

If you are ever looking for a critique partner, I'd be so happy to pair up! I've got two awesome CPs and am looking to add one more.

I love editing and critiquing. :) We're both crazy together ;)

Jenny S. Morris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenny S. Morris said...

That is pretty much my style. I do create a word document for character descriptions and chapter guide but that is a work in progress, just like the book. I found I love revising, but I don't like editing.

Catherine Ensley said...

I'm a plotter, but that doesn't guarantee anything. A person can still go off on a well-plotted tangent, if they are not super sure of their central idea. I've come to believe there is no real difference between pansters and plotters. Pansters just write a very full "outline," in their first draft. Both types are equally as likely to miss the boat.

Jenna Cooper said...

Mine changes every draft, but usually I just start writing and writing, then I start to feel how many chapters I need and I write one sentence about each to check them off as I go. I'm really experimenting with revising. I don't think I have mine down quite yet.

Jolene Perry said...

I tried to plot once, and it totally stole my writing happy place.
Doesn't work for me.

Joanna said...

I hear you, I am a panther true and truly struggle to plot. Like you, basically my first drafts are really sucky, but I am now OK with that, it's just part of my process!

Patricia T. said...

Great review! I think of plot, because I've been trained that way. like to have a sense of the entire picture, but I can get stuck. So being a panster can be a great help in getting through the first draft.

Diana said...

I am a total pantser! Even if I try to plot, the characters decide they don't want to go that way just to spite me.

eva fhadilah said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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