Yesterday I gave you the back story and why after so many years of being dormant I decided it was time to write. The Writing Process: Part 1
Today I give you the process.
Honestly my brain, like most writers, is filled with hundreds of ideas all the time. More than half of them usually end up in the scrap yard but all of them have to get written down to get out. Otherwise they stay locked up inside my mind bouncing around like a pinball machine and not allowing me to focus on the writing at hand.
But during this process most of what was bouncing around in my head belonged to the story. It is strange; I wonder if I am alone in thinking that I don’t write the stories I am just a conduit for the information to flow forth onto the paper.
In the past I have never been the kind of writer who does an outline. It may be wise to know that in the past I have never finished a story either. With this story I found that all these ideas were popping in my head but it wasn’t time for them yet. I didn’t want to lose them because they brought real value and plot building to the story but it wasn’t their time. So that is when I started the outline. When I realized that at the end of the book X was going to happen, I wrote it down. After that I was able to write to that transition, to make X happen I had to fill in the gaps. Without the outline I would have just wandered aimlessly through the story.
I will point out that my outline was not written in stone. Some things actually never made it in the story. Some things went in a different order than I had but knowing what I wanted to happen via the outline was I believe fundamental in the completion of my first ever novel.
By the middle of March (48 days into this book) I had written almost 35K words. This is when a few things happened.
- I bought the PC Game SIM CITY.
- I got lazy
- I got concerned because I was heading down the final chapters in my book and I was nowhere near the word count I needed to qualify for a novel.
So what happened?
You guessed it…..I quit writing pretty much.
I wrote 2K words over the course of 57 days. That breaks down to 35 words a day. But the reality was that in those 57 days I only wrote for a total of 5 days. I was battling with the process. Thinking I could never get published, self doubt weighed me down. Why was I even bothering anyways?
And then I realized, I wasn’t really doing this to get published (although OF COURSE I want to get published) I was doing this for my mom. I was doing this because it was what I had always wanted to do. I was doing this because I believe somewhere deep down inside that it is my GOD GIVEN TALENT and I need to use it wisely.
I finally realized that I needed to just FINISH the story. Then I could go back and fix any problems during the editing process. When I finally gave myself permission to write without worrying about anything except just getting the story out that is when I finally got my flow back. I finished the last 9K words in 11 days.
Another thing that changed between the first 105 and the last 11 days was the time of day I was writing. I had been writing at night when my toddler was tucked away in bed, my husband was ready to begin shooting people on his PS3 game and the house was quiet. The only problem was…..I was tired. I fought getting my words out and often went to bed without being able to finish my thoughts because I was too tired to keep my eyes opened.
The last 11 days I tried a new approach. I began getting up an hour early. The house was still quiet. My toddler was still asleep and husband was snuggled up tight in bed too. It was just me and my cup of coffee.
I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this before. My mind was so much clearer. I wasn’t fighting sleep. The only battle I had was not turning on Facebook before I did my writing. And I truly believe that the end of the book is better than the beginning because I gave it my first hours of the day instead of my last.
I am doing the revision process now. It may take as long to revise as it did to write but I am so enjoying this part of the process.
Because I have never had the chance to do it before!