17 March, 2017

Plodding Right Along... My Writing Process #MFRWauthor 52-Week Writing Challenge

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Week 11 - Plot Away... My Writing Process


...and I say PLODDING (not plotting) because it's what I do when I write.

I've tried being disciplined and even bought a white board, pretty colored white board markers, the eraser, and lots of colorful sticky notes with the intention of pasting them all around my monitor for referencing.

But it never works out that way.

My kids take the sticky notes and use them for their own purposes, the white board is somewhere in my writing room (the den), and the markers are still unopened in a wicker basket stuffed with other assorted pens, pencils, and colored markers.

Still, there is a method to my madness.

IDEAS


I'm usually careful about jotting down any/all ideas that pop into my head because most of us probably know the old saying about THAT, right?

Still, there are times when I forget to write it down, but eventually the thought will return at some point, so I don't worry too much about forgetting things.


RESEARCH


I also spend a good deal of 'writing' time online or with my nose in a tech book, trying to learn about and better understand at least two things that continue to elude me as a wanna-be writer...

Show v Tell and Voice.

Telling is more problematic, so I spend far more time than I ought trying to find examples that actually make sense and relate to my own style of writing.

You just won't ever catch me inserting personification and a lot of passive voice into my work, so if those two constitute SHOW, then I guess I'm screwed.

But, my research extends beyond the technical aspects of the craft to include things like wine, climate, linguistics, and employment.

I'm not a Jane of All Trades and don't pretend to be, but I do like my characters to work, live, and play in areas I'm not as familiar with in my own day-to-day existence.

I will Google Earth places and attempt to get a lay of the land, but I also extend my research to online articles and library books because I really don't want to come off as a silly fool.

Terrified of being perceived as a silly fool.

I mean, I don't know anything about luxury cars and probably won't ever get close enough to see one, much less own or drive one, but that doesn't mean my characters can't be that lucky!

So, I study what is important to the story's plot and hope I'm being accurate in the description department.


PINTEREST


Now, I don't spend too much time here, but I fell in love with the idea of storyboard-ing my work.

I search specific categories for male/female leads, settings, and then lesser things like vehicles, wardrobes, and buildings so that I'm better able to describe them in my work.

There were times when I would have to go back in my writing to recall if the H had brown, sandy blond, or black hair.

Did I say he had blue eyes or hazel or brown?

With my newly created Pinterest Story Board at my disposal, that is a thing of the past.

This is fun stuff but doesn't take up too much of my time.


MOOD MUSIC




As long as it isn't the radio (voices) or songs with lyrics (voices), I'm capable of typing while listening to anything soothing (smooth jazz), non-committal (classical), or scene-appropriate (ambient) that actually helps to put me in the mood for writing, inserts me into whatever scene I'm working on, and even elevates me away from ME and over THEM.

Now I'm ready to roll.


KIND-OF/SORT-OF PLOTTING


With all of the silliness out of the way, I'm ready to start typing what's inside my head, but believe me when I say I had already spent hours, days, weeks, MONTHS mulling over the original idea inside my head prior to setting it to type.

Yes, this is a terrific premise for a love story, and I've got a great feeling about the two leads, but is this actually going to go somewhere?

And, is it really interesting enough to write about and hope others will read and enjoy?

Conflicts and their resolutions take up most of my thinking time, wanting to make sure what I'm intending to convey is worth conveying (and hasn't already been conveyed a thousand times over by other authors).

I really adore it when my author friends post QUERIES on Facebook to ask things like: If my H decides to do this, what do you think the h will say or do in response?

It's my writing process but in a more broad sense of the term.


ACTUAL WRITING


Then I sit down in front of my laptop and start typing.

Is it Chapter 1 or One? No Chapter and just a # like One or 1?

I type until I run out of steam or get to the exciting words THE END.

I try, try, TRY my best not to edit as I go along, but this is asking a great deal of someone like me, who catches as many oopsies as I don't, so I tend to go back, re-read what I've just typed, and then move along or reword things.

I said I try NOT to do that, and sometimes I actually succeed.

And always in the back of my mind I'm still mulling over my options: should they kiss that soon? Has he fallen for her too quickly and only because she's pretty?

Actually, I believe this is a natural and quite common occurrence in real life, but so many reviewers bring this up as a complaint and I don't understand why.
First comes lust, then comes disinterest or interest (personality shine/flop), then comes...
You see how it works?
Women do the same thing!
Wow, is that guy ever a hottie! Check out the ass on that dude! Oh, my, Gawd! Did you see his eyes?
It's lust and it's quite natural in us humans, but it needs to be worded in such a way that the reader won't be thinking, "He sees her boobs and wants to sleep with her? What a jerk!"
Well, no, he's not a jerk... you're just being persnickety again, but it can't be helped, can it?

So, natural progression (PACE - but at a feisty reader's perception) are at the back of my mind along with things like transitioning from one scene or dilemma to the next... is it making sense? Did I skip anything important?

Worry, worry, worry.

Somehow, the process I've created manages to work and I get things done.

It's the EDITING part that really slows me down and makes the whole process take close to a year (or more) to complete.

And even then, I worry (worry, worry) that it just isn't up to par and needs more work!

*Sigh

I write, though, and I love to write in my preferred genre (Romance of the Contemporary/Fantasy varieties) so it is worth it.





Thanks kindly for reading this, and there is no Linky this week (not sure why) but if you do a #MRFWauthor search you'll likely find more blog posts about other authors and their writing process.


4 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your process is great detail. "Plodding" -- I love it. At times, like the present, that's the perfect word to describe my process as well. I guess there’s no blog hop post this week, but here’s my process.

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    1. Thanks, Ed! I'll link your post to mine :D

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  2. LOVE the Pinterest storyboard and Google earth ideas!

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    1. Thanks, Robin! Try it and see if it works for you.

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