My Writing Process: At Last!

It has taken me 584 blog posts, all of which are supposed to focus on my writing process, to actually write about my writing process…which is now part of the process.20140828_160719In writing a novel, I often find it overwhelming to take on the book all at once, or even a chapter. It’s easier, and more enjoyable, to deal with the work in fragments – a piece of dialogue, a description, a concept – treating each as a cell, whole unto itself.

wo0KzAs I develop and read through each draft, instead of becoming weighed down by the tsunami of things that are not working, I take each one at a time and make notes:

a. Uumlak needs detail. What does this even look like?

b. Dialogue between Dee and Nico needs to be moved. Where?

c. Qoorog needs to be mentioned three-five times earlier in the text.

After compiling a list, I email it to myself and then flesh out a couple of items every few days and email those back until I have a set of four or five back-and-forth replies. Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 10.33.34 AMOnce most of the issues have been addressed, I format that and insert each section back into the text. I’ll give myself a day or two before reading through the chapter, trying to gain momentum, and compose a new list of issues to tackle as I go. And then it starts anew.

042011-sisyphus-at-gymIt’s an effective process because I don’t focus on where I am in the book, nor how many more words I need to compose to get to the end. It’s just the scene, the moment, the thing itself, and that is almost always a joy to do. (And even if none of it works, at least I received a few emails that I actually read.)