Tuesday, January 13, 2009

how I write: a look into the insanity

I love when people share their writing or illustrating process, so I thought I’d blog about how I write. I’ve used this method to write PBs, and it’s how I’m writing my current novel. Hope it’s helpful, or at least convinces you that your writing method is much more sane than mine. ;)

Step Zero: Think about a character and story. Write scenes in my head.

Step One:
OMG! I have an idea! And I’ve started writing it!
-My character tells me her story, “This happened, then this, and this, and that! Wheee!”
-There’s not much description or polish.

Step Two: Best Thing EVER, must tell EVERYONE.
- It’s a compulsion, like checking email constantly.
-This applies to the story idea more than the writing.
-The longer I write, the more I try to avoid this step. But sometimes I can’t help myself.

Step Three: OMG! The writing is horrible - must revise!

Step Four:

Step Five:

-Best Thing EVER!
-Horrible Writing!
-Repeat! (as many times as necessary)

Step Six:
Keep writing the story, even if I’m revising one part, over and over again. Otherwise, I’d never get to the end.

Step Seven: I have something I can show to a critique group or use as a blog teaser.
-It still needs revision, but it’s ok to get feedback.
-This is the stage I’m at right now with the beginning of Lexi’s story.

Step Eight: After I get to the end and revise the whole MS to Step Seven, I either send it to a critique partner or let it sit before revising it.

Step Nine:
Revision. (based on feedback, if possible)

Step Ten:

* Note: Any of the steps can be repeated multiple times, but especially steps four and five.


  1. I don't revise until the very end usually. Great look into your thought process. And how lucky for you to get a Freetique! I always miss those!

  2. That looks very familiar. And I like your revision a lot.

  3. I need to learn to take your approach with Step 2...I've gotten way too far into projects before realizing they need an overhaul.

  4. I particularly like the echoing secrets line. I thought your revision really took off from there! :)

  5. You call that insane? Uh-oh! I guess I'll see you in that weird, snaky line that heads in to the asylum. . . :-)

    Thanks for sharing. I love to hear other people's methods.

  6. Thanks Kelly. You're lucky you can write all the way through. I can't imagine not revising. I've tried, but I can't do it.

    Thanks Jacqui!

    Adrienne, Good luck and be careful with Step 2. It can be great, and it can also be awful.

    Thanks Carrie! I worked that line about 50 different ways so it's good to know it sounds ok!

    Elise - Ha! I'll stand in line with you; it's good to know I'm not alone.

  7. wow what a revision. I know so much more about your character now!! And I also have a better sense of the place! Loved the addition of smells!

  8. Step 4 is my favorite form of revising...grin...

  9. I hear the conversations in my head and write them down. Call me crazy.

    Then I become a revising fiend. Sometimes I revise so much, I think I'll never finish the story. My husband says, "It doesn't matter if it's A bear or THE bear." But it does to me.

    :( revising, revising, revising...

  10. Thanks Angela! your critique helped me a lot.

    Brenda and Rena, Step 4 is most awesome :)

  11. Kim, I know exactly what you mean, it does matter! I write down the conversations in my head too (I even made a t-shirt about it). Thanks for stopping by and good luck with yout revisioning!