I have a quirky writing process. Drafting the first fifty to a hundred pages is, for me, the honeymoon stage. I’m introducing new characters, falling in love with the hero, and creating worlds. At about page 100 when I start the second act I get out the note-cards and begin outlining because that’s when things get complicated. I’ll start at the beginning and give each scene a note-card with a sentence or two of the key purposes of that scene. If the scene doesn’t propel the plot in some important way, it needs to go.
Looking forward, I create note-cards for all the future scenes. I jot down settings, the beginning and ending emotions of each scene, making sure that the settings and emotions are varied from scene to scene and yet coordinated or opposed (i.e. an angry debate at a child’s birthday party or a gentle first kiss in the middle of a storm.) I bore easily so it’s important to me that each scene carries its own dynamic and yet unique energy. For example, I find some action movies tiring because the pace never varies from overdrive. I love Monty Python because I can’t second guess what will happen next. Unfortunately, I’m not Monty Python zany so I rely on my note-cards after page 100 and let them carry me through the first draft.
On my second read-through, I don’t edit or tinker, I simply read and put one of these @ and a note to myself in red when I hit a spot that needs tweaking. On the third pass-through I search out the @s and try and resolve what wasn’t working. I start serious editing and rewriting on my fourth reading. Then I give it to beta-readers and start another project.
About a month later, I return to my book, consider my beta’s comments and address them (or not) give it another read through before sending it to my editor. By this time, I’m sick of the thing and generally honeymooning with my new work in progress. When I get it back from the editor, I’ll buckle down to edit, but I’ll continue with my new project. Because I love drafting and hate editing, I like having simultaneous projects.
I try to write 2000 words a day. Sometimes this will take me two hours, and sometimes it will take m u c h l o n g e r. Recently I started what I call a writer’s widget. You can find it on my blog, kristystories.blogspot.com. I like it because it holds my feet to the fire, and also because as I write, I find myself looking for that “favorite sentence.” It would be great if I wrote so many awesome sentences that it would be hard to choose just one. I’m not there yet, but I think the widget is helping.
What about you? What keeps you motivated? Any widgets?
widget to look like this:
|10/9||10-3||2000||blog posts -my own and http://www.BooksByMSK.com|| Why did Emory need to be the world’s babysitter, Dudley Do-right, doing whatever he could to save mankind from Satan’s grasp?
Swap chapters with M&B
|10 10||7-8, 9-9:48||1700||blog post, Losing Penny||The heart and liver would be up to Emory.||Dog groomer write at library
|10 11||10:45- 1:45||2690||“He tried to kiss me.” Petra took a deep breath and tried to calm her racing heart. “I might have over reacted.”||Monday’s goals
volunteer at employment center, 2000