The Writing Process
I start out with an idea. Usually, I have way too many of those and in order to keep myself sane, I write the idea on a small sheet of paper and toss it into an empty Godiva Chocolate box. When I need to start a new project, I pull a random idea out of that box and start.
First, comes a mediocre attempt at plotting where I run the idea through my mind, have a general idea of how the story should start and end. I create the characters names and give them physical descriptions. So far, I’m a complete panster.
I then start writing and as I do that, the characters pretty much develop themselves. I plot as I go, and I only know what will happen in the next chapter to come.
Supporting characters jump at me then and storylines I didn’t originally plan on sneak into the story.
Then the ideas rush at me a little too quickly and now I could see more upcoming chapters then just one, so when I’m at about 10,000 to 20,000 words, I make an outline. The outline only contains a short, one or two sentence summery of each upcoming chapter until the end. At that point, I also know how much of the book I still have left to write and approximately how many words will it total. As you can see, I become a plotter.
About midway through the writing process, I write my synopsis and query to get those out of the way. Then I finish writing the manuscript.
All the hard work comes in the edits. The first edit; I add details. The setting location actually gets a name, the supporting cast gets names, or their names change (actually, almost all the characters change names). I also change character personality inconsistencies as that is bound to happen when you’re a panster. The second edit, I take out repetitive information and make sure everything sounds good. Then I convert it into a text-to-speech format and have it read out loud to me, so I could attack typos. Usually when I’m in that process, I’m ready to shoot myself. That is usually the end of the manuscript itself. I then fix the synopsis and query, making sure the characters new names are in place of the old, and then I submit and wait for a response.
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