Thursday, August 23, 2012

Write All About It

I am cooking with oil, burning through the first draft. I'm on fire with the story and I can't wait to bang it out. There will be lots of revising to do, but I have learned through various ups and downs of writing that my process is my process. I can't fight it. I have to write the story to know the characters. Already they are revealing little nuances and thoughts that have surprised me. I am so excited. I feel like they are getting to know each other and that is how I am getting to know them. This draft isn't perfection. It's got a lot that will be edited out, but I have to write all about it because that's how I will know all about it.

For instance, my reserved engineer? She has a toe ring. Ha. It's a small fact. But I didn't find that out until I wrote 20,000 words!! And my Argentine hero? He's born of the sea and finds refuge in the waters he sails. He's master of his world most when he is there. I love him. He's wounded, lost, angry, bitter and yet through all this I'm already learning that my heroine will be the only woman who has the strength to guide him back to earth, to healing, to being a man capable of not just passion, but great love.

I am happily discovering my story by writing 4,000 words a day. That's my target except on travel days when I pump out 1000. Today is a 4K day. As is tomorrow. I will finish this first draft by the end of next week. Then I will set it aside for a short break, read through it quickly and begin the long process of revising the story. Shaping and molding the words to make them stronger. Carving the words that won't work for the story's flow. Shoring up the motivations and characterizations. This will take time. But it'll be worth it when I'm done. 

How do you write? What's your process?


Sharon Wray said...

Christine, I've been struggling with this all summer and am hoping to work it out soon. I write around the story like you do, but am trying to become more disciplined and write and outline simply to save time and up my productivity. But productivity that curtails creativity isn't good either. Good luck with the new story!

Christine said...

I started with a basic outline and idea of where I was going, but then I let the muse takeover. Whenever I finish for the day, I write a few notes about the upcoming scenes and that helps me stay focused, but I'm writing a short book. You're writing a series which is so complex. I know you will figure out the mechanism that will keep you on track while still allowing the muse to chat.

You will!!!

B. B. Granville said...

Although I lean closer to being a panster than a plotter, my process may sound methodical like a plotter (with the exception of an outline).

My first draft is sort of a free-for-all get the story out of my head and on paper process. After a very brief break (maybe a day or two), I do a read-thru and put meat on the bones. This is when the characters tell me the story from their perspective. I do a lot of listening during this process. Then maybe another day or two break, if needed for clarity. Then, I do a deep edit/polish.

Not sure if this is an industry standard approach, but it's what works for me.

BTW, I'm very impressed with your daily 4K word count and the dedication that takes.

Christine said...

HI B. B., Welcome to the Veranda! I think your process is very similar to mine. I have to write the story to know the characters. That's why I'm writing the first draft "fast." Then I'll go in and take it slow and cool. I don't think I'll get it done in 3 pass throughs. It will probably take me about 4-5 depending on the number of cuts I make to the story. I've learned to be a ruthless word cutter.

Sounds like you've got a great process that works for you! Which goes to show that no two writers write alike. We're like snowflakes that way.


Jamie Raintree said...

I am in absolute awe of your writing progress! I have never written 4k in a single day in my life, let alone day after day. I wish I could let go and write with abandon like that. I over think everything. Lol! Hopefully one day I'll trust myself enough to go for it. I'm so glad for you that you're that excited about your story. I'm sure it will make it so exciting for your readers!

Christine said...

Hi Jaimie: I like fast drafting a lot, but I have learned to revise/lightly edit as I go along otherwise it's too messy to clean up very quickly. But it's a great way to release the muse from captivity and let the words just flow and flow. You kind of get into the zone. Like a runner's high.

Thanks so much for popping in and commenting!!


Jamie Raintree said...

I think I'd like to try it some time. NaNoWriMo is the fastest I've ever gone but that's not even a finished book. It's never anything legible but that takes the pressure off so I can just explore the story uninhibited.

Christine said...

NaNoWriMo is a great way to jump start the writing juices!!