What's Your Process Blogfest

A big thanks to Shallee for hosting today's blogfest!

My process.

Oh...my process.

First off, I'm not a pantser...completely.  After inspiration has struck, I usually spend about a week letting myself get acquainted with the characters and every nook and cranny of the story in my head.  This is my favorite part of writing.  When I have to have a pad of paper close by 24/7 because ideas are flying at me left and right and I can't keep up.  This is falling in love.

This does not last.  Because I have to write the first draft.  Those characters?  Turns out they need back stories and nuances and imperfections and physical traits.  Those nooks and crannies?  They're filled with possibilities.  And cobwebs.  This is our first big fight.  There will be many more to come.

We make up when I type "The End" that first time.  I may need to break up shove it in a drawer for awhile.  But I can't stop thinking about it.  Mostly, that first revision, I spend most of the time thinking of ways to be a lot more horrible to my characters.  Really, really horrible.  If I threw rocks at them in the first draft, I need to figure out how to throw grenades.  (I should mention I'm a fairly "clean" first drafter.  Grammar is in my blood, so I don't have to spend too much time fixing commas and misspelled words and whatnot.  If anything, I have to spend some time "unfixing" it.  Loosen up the dialogue and such.)  But I'm committed at this point.  I'm getting antsy for a ring.

At this point, it's time to get a 2nd (and 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th...) opinion.  Off to the beta readers.  Premarital counseling, if you will.
And here's where the analogy ends.  I'm not married to it yet.  Yes, I've been devoted.  In love.  But marriage is so  much more than that.  And what will the trip down the altar look like?  Getting an agent?  A publisher?  Readers?  I'm not sure.  But every published author seems to say the same thing.  Once it's out there, it's not yours anymore.  It becomes bigger than you.  And so I think marriage is a good analogy for that published stage of writing.  All that love and hard work, building up and paying off.  The true hard work is up the road (which terrifies me).  But I'm committed.

13 comments:

  1. Where do you go for beta readers? I've gone to Absolute Write Water Cooler and Fiction Press, and I'm still keeping my eyes out for other sources.

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  2. "Once it's out there it's not yours anymore" so true.

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  3. I love the idea of throwing rocks at your characters in the first draft, and throwing grenades at them in revisions. :) Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Love your analogy and the nooks and crannies and cobwebs. I'm getting antsy for a ring, too. Loved reading your process. :)

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  5. I love that you and your writing have a strong relationship. Setbacks only make things better in the end...if we get through them. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Hi,

    Do what feels right, and do it as much for love of writing as the accolade of getting it published. Work that is loved throughout shines in the end product! ;)

    best
    F

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  7. I'm a pretty clean writer for first drafts too, but during revisions I'm finding that a lot of those "clean" words have to be thrown out. I've enjoyed reading about your writing process - thanks for sharing!

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  8. I love your idea of thinking of the character first and letting the idea percolate for a while. Your relationship with your characters is pretty clear. I do a lot of the thinking before draft one but I am always looking for ways to be meaner ;)

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  9. Great post and analogy. It brought a smile to my face, especially the bit about upping the anti with grenades.

    PS. Love your blog design! Very pretty :) Did you design it yourself?

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  10. Love the grenades and pre marital counseling. Your post was delightful. I enjoyed learning about your process.

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  11. Up the road... that terrifies me too. Like a lot. Love the analogy! Great post, Karen! :)

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  12. Thanks, everybody, for your sweet comments! This was a very fun blogfest.

    (And, btw, nope, I didn't design my blog...not even close enough to that talented. It's a free template from Lena Toews. You can find her link at the very bottom of the blog.)

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  13. I'm a week late, but catching up on this blogfest now after I finally put my own entry up =)

    Great analogy! And the "bigger than you" is so true. And with commitment, you can climb mountains :)

    I love your blog btw!! *follows*

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