Monday, June 16, 2014

Method to My Madness in Writing--er, I mean, My Writing Process BLOG HOP!

Victoria Adams, for some crazy reason, has chosen me to share my writing process as part of her bloghop, isn't she awesome? She is a wonderful friend and  I love her writing process, you should drop by and say hi!

To be honest with you, I've been dreading to write about my writing process. I'm not a procrastinator, but I have squandered these past two weeks wondering how I would begin such a task. And now, here I am!

As with anything great, my writing starts with thought. I keep my imagination well-oiled and pay attention to details that are all around. If I'm going for a walk and happen by a burnt down building, I imagine dark creatures living there. A breathtaking sunset could inspire a high fantasy plot involving dragons or unicorns. A phrase from the scriptures or a book, even someone speaking could strike up wonders. (I never dismiss dreams, either!)

Once my brain gathers information--or I just refer to my book of ideas, I jot down a rough summary. Even a first chapter idea to get the juices flowing. More often than not, I am a pantser writer. My characters jump to life, or, I love the cliche, they hit the ground running! On rare occasions, I get stumped and suffer writers block. Oh, I hate writers block! Once that happens, I put my story aside and try to figure out what it is that is stumping me. Many times it's because I am not giving myself permission to accept an idea. It is a mental conflict that I must work though. Prayer is one of my biggest sources of my writing process and it helps me sort through all the bugs!

Sometimes my blocks derive from plot problems. I love bouncing ideas around with writing palz--even my teen-aged kids. They are ripe with ideas. Once I detangle myself from these things, I tackle my book with every whit of passion I possess. How my husband gets lost in his favorite television show, or my son in his epic book, so it is with me in my writing! Unfortunately, my time is so sparse, I must be ready to write when it spontaneously arrives! Yep, having a 14 month old babykins will easily do that to me. I once pushed myself very hard and wrote a 50K novel in two weeks! As you can tell, babykins was not around at that time.

I just love how the characters sprout choices of their own, how the story unfolds. I do my very best to keep from editing as I write. My mantra is: You have permission to have inconsistencies, misspellings, editing flaws, whatever, for the first draft. Okay, if something really bothers me, I will go back and fix it!Once I'm done writing, I go back and edit it -or- put it aside to let it fester as I move on to my next book. After some time has gone by--maybe a few weeks or months--I will get back to that book and edit.

The IMPORTANT thing about that is many times I lose the "feel" of that book and even what I need to edit, so I create an "editing notes" file with my thoughts as to what I think needs fixing.

For example, in my Musketeer's Daughter I have finished about a month ago, my notes say this:
>king or KING (proper grammar usage)
>His Majesty the King (again, proper name usage)
>make home consistent with *wealthy* Gabriel--remember he's not genteel poverty like I 1st started out
>character & costume consistency
>look up French words every time you see this: (f)

If I don't have notes like that to jog my memory, I'd have to reread my story straight through just to remember what exactly it was I needed to do! Yikes!

Once I have gone through it a few times, I hope (ha! More like pray) that I could find willing victims to beta read my stuff. << that part is the most challenging ever! Because we are naturally hermatoids living in our writerly caves, it's not easy, at least for me.

Viola! Welcome to my condensed version to my Method of Madness in Writing!


Is there stuff you do differently? What shortcuts help you? I'd love to hear your thoughts!



Welcome my next victims for the fantastical BLOGHOP! They will dare to share their Writing Process as well next week!



Heather McCubbin began writing stories on the back of scrap of paper at the age of 13, then filing them away, while also resisting peer pressure to avoid death defying stunts off her swing-set. Now that she is an adult and owns a laptop, there are many MS Word folders filled with stories. And she has retired  from jumping off swing-sets.

Her first story "Shadows of Promise," published 2011, was included in the anthology "Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal'. Currently, she has a YA Mystery?Romance story being reviewed for publishing and is working on a fantasy novel with a long-time friend all while beginning a new job of reviewing for "Books Make Me Happy Reviews".

In addition to writing, editing, reviewing and  reading, she enjoys traveling, board games, volunteering in school PTA and Marching Band all while fostering cats/kittens. A native Marylander, she supports Redskins, Capitals and Orioles. She now resides outside of Boston with her family, her dog and a 20-pound cat.





Megan Elizabeth Morales is a female who love Star Trek, is a Netflix Junkie and loves Comic-Con. She's a bit of a dreamer, isn't she? One day when she was eight years old, she just started writing, and she's never stopped since.









Willow Scot: As a young girl I wrote my first Novel, "The Snow Monster". Although it never was read by another living soul, I was hooked. Ever since I have written in just about every Genre. I am currently looking for representation for my picture book "Ooey, Gooey, Stinky, Muck!". My current project is a Historical Romance Novel, "My Enemy, My Love".

22 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your fabulous writing process! It sounds like a most thrilling way for you and great that you do so with passion! Big hugs to your gorgeous babykins too! Take care
    x

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  2. I jump back into edits right away, but that's because by the time I finish, I've forgotten how it began, so I'm viewing it with fresh eyes. (The one time poor memory pays off.)

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    1. ROFL! Yes, that's the way it is with me, too. I forget so easily as well. Ugh... Thanks for dropping by, Alex! :D

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  3. I tend to edit as I go, I find re-reading and polishing a bit is a good way to ease me back into thoughts of what happens next. I also find it invaluable to keep notes as I go for consistency.

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  4. "Let it fester." - I love that description! I really enjoyed reading about your process (50k in 2 weeks - wow!), and wish you much success in all your projects.

    I'm a new follower, #1067. How the heck did you get so many followers? I killed myself during the A-Z Challenge and still only have about 460. :P

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    1. Hi, Lexa! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment! Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed reading about my process. I was able to reach 50K in 2 weeks because I spent them away from home with other writerly friends. I didn't want to eat or sleep. I was so bothered to even have to get up to use the toilet. LOL

      Thank you for following my blog, you RoCk!!!! What I did was I visited every follower of the A-Z Challenge and left comments with a reward for making it! Whew, it was a lot of work. Also, I've hosted several bloghops and blogfests and contests. It was tons of WORK over a course of a few years. xD

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  5. Thanks for sharing this. We all work in different ways, but I like the tip about the editing notes. So much better than trying to remember what needs doing.

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    1. Oh, man, I would never remember what needs doing, seriously. After having a baby, my brain is super mush. hehe

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  6. Thanks for sharing your writing process! I like to give my writing some breathing room too once I finish a draft, so I can come back to it with fresh eyes.

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    1. It's fun doing it that way. There are many things around the corner that have me busting out laughing because I had completely forgotten about it. Has that happened to you? xD

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  7. I'm a pantster when writing, I enjoy seeing where my characters take me. I do like to do a first draft, put aside for a couple of weeks and then go back and have a read through and make some notes of thoughts or changes. Editing usually happens over several rounds for me. Always nice to hear how others go about the process.

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    1. I admire how you do several rounds! Do you put your MS aside between each round? I know many friends have a layer system in their edits...

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  8. Thanks for sharing your writing process Elizabeth.
    Your "let it fester" in the novel mode = my "let it simmer" in flash-fiction mode...
    I'm amazed at your 50K story in two weeks! Wow. You could write two novels during a NaNoWriMo.
    I'm still plodding along with the outline of my longer story...
    Writer In Transit

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    1. Wow, I could've sworn I replied to your comment already! I was away from home with no kids underfoot and even eating, sleeping and using the bathroom was a pain! haha! xD

      Ooh, I love brainstorming if you ever want to "get together" for your longer story. ;)

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  9. Hi Elizabeth, thanks for sharing your writing process. I am half plotter, half panster. Even I believe in letting it fester for a few days after the first draft. And I am shocked, amazed, tongue-tied that you could write a 50k book in two weeks. Pray, tell us the secret to achieving that.

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    1. Hi, Rachna!! ((HUGS)) been thinking about you. <3
      Well, maybe I cheated in that I was away from home with other writers and all we did was write write write and only took breaks to eat, sleep and use the bathroom? xD Boy, I sure miss doing that. *sigh*

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  10. I think my process changes every time I write. I'd like to pin it down so when people ask me about it I can come up with a consistent answer. I doubt that's going to happen, however. I guess, I'm like you in one way, I am more pantser than planner.

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    1. My process does move a bit from project to project. It's tailored to the book depending on how I feel and what inspires me. Interesting how that happens, isn't it?

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  11. I admit, my process, like Lee's, seems to change every time I sit down. Right now I'm editing something and I'm like...Oh did I write that? That's not bad OR What does that mean? Was I tired when I wrote this?

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    1. Buahaha! Yes, that's happened to me a lot. It's so fun to go back and edit, revisiting the wonderful world of your characters, isn't it? :D

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