Today it’s my turn to talk about my writing process. It falls at a good time as I begin to plot for my next manuscript, so here it goes…
The Spark of an Idea
I usually start out with a notion of a character, rather than a plot. Not always, but usually. I’ll hear a song that touches me and begin wondering who the person is that wrote it and how they came to feel the way they feel. Or I’ll see a news story (usually something tragic, I’ll be honest), and begin to think about what the future holds for the people involved. How do they move forward? How does their past stand in their way? This is where I develop my GMC.
Spinning A Plot
From there, I’ll start spinning stories in my head to piece together the plot. I try to think about the hardest possible situation I can put my character in, and what would be good enough to make them want to fight to overcome their past. Before long, I have the beginning, the end, and a general idea of my turning points.
Structuring My Scenes
I’m a die-hard plotter. That’s not to say my plot doesn’t change any as I get into my writing, but I do go into the first page with a scene outline. Sometimes as I get to know my characters better I may have to delete a scene or add a scene.
I use plot boards and sticky notes to lay out my initial scenes (you can refer to My Favorite Writing Things Post for more on that). Once my boards are complete, I dive into my manuscript.
Finding the Words
I just finished writing my third book (YAY!!!), and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that this part of my writing process is dynamic. What worked for me in book 1 might not have worked for me in book 2. What I once swore I’d never do might be the one thing that works now. As I make mistakes and try new things, I adapt my process to fit what I find works. If you find something going stale, try something else – a different location, a different time of day, whatever. Sometimes you just need a change to get the words flowing easier.
And after a lot laughter, a lot of crying, a lot of throwing things, and a lot of smiling – I finally have a manuscript. Then becomes the real work….THE EDITING.
But we’ll cover that another time!