For Writers

The other day a bunch of us writers were talking about the process of writing a book.  Interestingly enough, we all had different takes on it.  One of my friend ends up with about a hundred page outline before she even types a paragraph.  Another friend knows her characters inside and out before she even considers a plot.  I discover as I go.

My point is, find what works for you.  My method is pretty easy.  I sit down and write the first scene of the book.  (Or what I think might be the first scene.  I’ve been known to move such a scene to chapter three.)  Then I think about a plot.  Who’s the bad guy?  And I keep writing.  I send a few chapters to my critique partner, Sayde Grace.  And I keep writing.

Sayde sends back comments – often smart alecky ones.  It’s true.  Believe me.  Once I had a buzzing set up between a character’s ears…and all through the rest of the book, Sayde would comment…”What’s that buzzing?  Does anyone hear a buzzing?”  🙂 

At some point I finish the first draft.  Then I go back and add to the plot – and layer in the emotion and details.  I’m very happy if my first draft is 65,000 words or so.  After layering and adding scenes I thought of later, I usually end up at 85k – 100k.

Then I search and destroy.  Meaning, I look for those words we don’t want to use too many of:  could, that, just, was…and so on.  But, if they’re in dialogue, I leave them alone.  That’s how people talk.  At that point, I read through the book again and add/edit.

When that’s finished, I print the puppy out.  And edit the hard copy.  Then I send it off to my agent, who will make suggestions – and then I edit again.  So, that’s my process.

I’ve written a few articles on writing – you can find them in the drop down menu above.  Enjoy.  🙂