It's been quite a bit since my last Writing Wednesday Blog, to which I apologize. I have been hard at work finishing my 6th Novel, "The Demon Of Sweet Briar" which I am happy to say is now completed and the initial editing on it completed. It has been sent to my editor, Helen, who has her blood red pen ready to go to hack it to pieces. Stay tuned for more updates as I am shooting for a late September release.
What is or how do you write your stories? What is your process? These are questions that I get on a regular basis when I am out doing my signings along with explaining what my books are about. So, I thought today I would share my process of writing.
Every author has their own methods that work for them. What works for one may not work for another and so on. I think that all authors share the same process in that you first have to have an idea for a story. What is that story? What is it you want to tell? So, for me the first thing I do after I have an idea for a story is to give it a title, though that could change during the course of the writing.
The next step I do is to map out or outline the story. For me this is one of the hardest parts as I know the story. But getting it into a fashion that makes sense takes time and planning. So I sit down and plot out what needs to be told. For myself, this determines how many chapters will be in the book to tell the story. Once I have that, then you have to map out what happens in each to get from point a to b. During this process, even while doing the actual writing, other ideas come up that could had more to the story. So, chapters can be added, reworked or completely taken out so the story flows.
Once I have my outline, then I am usually good to go. However, I don't always write in a linear fashion, which is to say I start writing with Chapter 1 and then move to Chapter 2 and so on. There are times where I may write the middle chapter, jump to a chapter in the beginning or even one in the end. It all depends on the story that I'm writing and what idea is stuck in my head at the time. The one issue with writing like this is that you really have to keep good notes so that you make sure that something you may have written in Chapter 13 fits and flows with what you wrote in Chapter 5. Had this with my 5th book "Murder In The Storm".
When I write, I am old school. I have a pad of paper and my favorite pen, which was given to me by my dad, and I write each chapter out by hand. Trust me I get some serious writer's cramp doing it this way, but I find it worth the time.
Once I have a chapter written, then I enter it into my word processor on the computer. The fun part with this is that I have crappy penmanship. Many can't read my writing, and truth be told, I can't read my own sometimes. How bad is that? But I muddle through and get it entered in. And it never ends up in the computer the way it does on the page. I add, subtract, and tweak as I go along.
After its entered in, then I put it through an editing program I have. I use ProWriting Aid which does a great job with multiple facets of writing. Again, you edit the chapter and it evolves even more.
When I am satisfied, the process repeats itself for subsequent chapters till the book is finished. Then of course I send it to someone who goes through and does another edit on the book. You always need another set of eyes on your work as you become all too familiar with it and though it may look good, you are actually blinded by nasty little things that make it look cheap. Another set of eyes flushes these out and as you edit once again, the work becomes set in stone.
Once all of this is done it gets put together with the cover design and sent in for publication. It is a process. It doesn't happen over night. It takes time. Being that I have limited time, which one day I will do this full time, it takes about a little over a year from start to finish. Some a bit longer.
That is my process. Till next time...