I've been reading around the blogodrome (blogosophere sounds mundane, so I punched it up a little), and there are a number of authors, agents, and editors that talk about the writing process. This has gotten me to think about my own process. And after a deep (an inch or so), time-consuming (a few Hulu commercial breaks), introspection, I've come to the following conclusions about my writing process.
I am so very different from other authors.
I don't plan and plot things out meticulously. I don't work from a detailed outline. Most times I don't work from an outline. If I do come up with an outline, it's more of a mind map of things I want to remember to include than a complex timeline.
Not only that, but I tend to write, well, oddly. For the most part I proceed chronologically, but there are times when I know there's a scene I want to write, so I write it up, and then gradually catch up to it. I often have no idea how much I need to write to catch up, just that I'll get there eventually. Which brings me to something else. I have no idea how long my books will be. I can't look at the beginning and say "this will be around 80,000 words" or "this one's gotta be around 120,000 words". I'm much more vague with declarations of "this is a long book." Even then I often change the length based on new ideas. Out of nowhere something else will come up, and I'll have to add it into the mix.
I suppose the worst of it is that in writing mysteries (or at least urban fantasy with a heavy mystery element), I have no idea whodunit when I start writing. Oftentimes I don't know what twists and turns there will be. Nor do I even know the ending. I simply start with a premise, usually a "what if this happens," and proceed to use my characters to flesh it out. I try to stick to my characters and use their reactions to move the plot forward. I suppose that the more analytical types might call this "character-driven" but I call it storytelling. I don't really know how to tell a story any other way.
I suppose I'm very disjointed compared to others, but it seems to work for me, and fortunately I've gotten some feedback that there are, at least a few, writers out there with the same (lack) of process that I have. I don't quite know how I made this process work for me. Maybe I'm a "seat of the pants" kind of writer, or perhaps I've written so many college essays that I have internalized certain organizational steps. Either way, I can say it works for me, and I enjoy the freedom it affords me (though I hate going back and adding something in that I think of late in the book).
1001 Nights (4) Abraham (11) Adonis (4) Aphrodite (18) Apocalypse (6) Apollo (5) Arabian (4) Ares (2) Artemis (5) Arthur (12) Athena (7) Bard (1) Ben Slater (13) Bible (88) Boxing Day (6) Celtic (2) Character File (2) Chinese (1) Christian (6) Christmas (1) Conferences (30) creation myths (15) Criminalelement (11) Dark Business (6) Dark Winds (22) Demeter (10) Diomedes (6) Don Iverson (4) Eden (5) Enchanter (16) essay (9) Exploding Storm Rider Mystery (1) F3 (577) F³ (2) Fairhaven Club (6) Fairy Tales (20) Family (2) Flood Myth (8) Flynn (84) Greek (96) Greeks (1) Guest (1) Hades (10) Halloween Fall Formal (6) Hercules (9) Hestia (2) Hindu (2) History Prof (22) Holiday (12) Holiday Myths (6) Incan (1) Iranian (2) Jacob (13) Japanese (1) Job (21) Joseph (18) Judges (12) Knowledge Myths (3) Levite (12) Library (8) Life (123) Love Gods (4) M3 (253) M³ (1) map (13) Matt Allen (213) Medieval (7) Metamyth (5) Misc Flash (36) Mom (1) monthly chart (21) Movies (6) Myth Law (2) Myth Media (4) NaNoWriMo (22) Noah (5) noir (9) Noir Tales (1) Norse (10) Odyssey (8) Persephone (15) Perseus (14) Persian (1) Poseidon (1) Prometheus (8) publishing (24) ramble (113) Red Riding Hood (6) Review (1) Sam Faraday (53) Samson (14) Santa's Helper (3) Scavenger Hunt (20) Sci Fi (15) science (1) Serial (84) short story (14) Spotlight (8) Storm Riders (139) Teaching (136) Tech (18) Transformation (5) Travel (27) TV (10) TV Myth (1) Underworld (6) Unhappily (2) Vacation (15) vampires (18) W3 (11) WIP (20) Writing (166) Writing Tools (16) Zeus (21)