On Process: Why Dancing Around My Room Still Means I’m Writing

With three chapters left to go, The Killing Type is becoming more and more real to me. It’s finally sinking in that I wrote a book. A legit, many-pages-long, could-be-a-papery-thing-tied-up-with-string book. And then one thing I keep saying is how close to being finished I am. Which I say a lot.

I thought I’d share a bit of my process here on the blog, in case anyone was curious about how I go about starting and finishing a story.

I’m a pantser (I write by the seat of my pants :P). I’m not one for strict outlines or diagraming timelines. A line comes to me, I write it down. The hardest part for me is starting. Beginnings are important and intimidating and shape the rest of the narrative. My beginnings aren’t usually awe-inspiring. That’s for editing. The main thing is TO start.

After that, I write in segments. Sometimes I write whole scenes, sometimes it’s just lines. I don’t write chronologically either. Thanks to Scrivener, I can rearrange my text at will rather than go through the ordeal of copy/paste/hope I don’t lose this.

Though I try to write a little everyday, some days it just doesn’t happen and I let that be ok. I recharge creatively. I step back. I don’t beat myself up for not writing. If I get stuck, I write backward. My favorite moments are when plots click into place without my thinking about them, or finding that one element that suddenly ties everything together.

The only thing harder than starting is finishing. I don’t know if it’s because this has been a two-year-long journey or because I’ve never finished something of this magnitude, or because finishing is just difficult in general. I think it’s because I have to show it people now.

I wrote the ending when I got stuck with the middle-bits. I don’t like it. I’m coming back to it, and it’s going to change. So much of the story has evolved since I wrote that ending. I’m interested to see when it ends up.

Right now, I’m off to a puppet show and a girl’s day out. Just because I’m a writer with a book to finish doesn’t mean I can’t occasionally have a social life.

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2 Comments

Filed under Writing

2 responses to “On Process: Why Dancing Around My Room Still Means I’m Writing

  1. I’m finishing up my memoir, too. I’m doing all the “Fine-Tuning” that isn’t nearly as exciting as idea generation. But like you, I’m sitting here thinking – “I can’t believe I wrote a book!” Congrats….

  2. I got the discounted Scrivner after NaNoWriMo and enjoyed using it for the first time too. I had 6 or 7 threads all heading toward the same focal point and didn’t want to back and forth it during the draft. Scrivner let me follow one thread all the way out to that point without worrying about moving parts around later. Definitely a cool tool. Like the positive attitude! Keep writing.

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