Monday, March 30, 2009

Process Progression

Over the weekend, I read this post from the talented ladies over at the Plot Monkeys blog that got me to thinking about my own process. (scroll down to the Saturday's Craft Series post)

Like Julie Leto’s, my process has changed over time. The biggest development in my process came last year when I was finally able to begin creating my rough drafts on the AlphaSmart, instead of writing them out freehand first. But there have been smaller changes, as well. Timing, for instance. Just as I’ve grown in my writing, so has my family grown as well. I’ve gone from having small babies or being pregnant to having school age children. I used to catch small pieces of writing time here and there while they were playing or asleep. Now I can actually create while they’re awake and work for longer periods of time. Later this year my process will probably change again, because I’ll have both children in elementary school for most of the day. I might actually get days to write hours at a time… Wow!

Some parts of my process never change. I start with plotting (even though the HOW of it is different than in the beginning). I write a rough first draft, then revise several times. I can’t create when I’m too tired or sick and I need relative quiet with minimal background noise.

The most important thing to me about process is: 1) I have one and recognize what it is. Beginning writers can take quite a while to reach this milestone. 2) I’m adaptable enough to change it if I need to. This is saying something, considering how resistant I am to change. 3) The speed at which my process works is slowly increasing, allowing me to complete more books and projects each year. Now I don’t feel like the slowest writer in the world, just the next-to-slowest. ;)

So today, tell me what’s on your mind. Read anything cool or informative lately? Changed something about your own process?


Cool bit of trivia: This is the 1,150th blog post on the Writing Playground. Wow! :)

P.S. PM's winner from last Wednesday is Caffey. Please email Playground Monitor with your snail mail info. Prizes not claimed in seven days will be re-awarded.


Heidi said...

Hi Angel

Just had to pop in and say CONGRATULATIONS on your Golden Heart nomination. This is my opportunity to say I entered my first ever ms in the GH and totally struck out, getting scores so low it ending up in the bottom quarter of the draw!!! So there you go, this is no small achievement, believe me I know.

Have a fabulous time basking in your own glory in DC. Having been a RITA nominee last year I know what a kick it is walking around with your little finalist ribbon and lapping up all the attention. will be keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Oh, and as to writing process. God, I wish I had one that worked worth a damn...

Kathy said...

Process is such an individual thing. What works for someone else may not work for you. It's always good to hear what other writer's process is. That way you can try out different things to find what works for you.

My process is similiar to yours, Angel, though I need music to write with. Music puts me in the period. I also need time to put my butt in that chair and motivation to put it there. LOL!

Angel said...

Thank you for dropping by, Heidi! The thought of DC this year is at once exciting and overwhelming. I'm going to savor every minute. :)

I agree, Kathy. New writers should test different things that speak to them and see if they work. Not-so-new writers should look for new options when their current process stalls or stops working for them.


housemouse88 said...

Hi Angel,

I read the blog over on Plotmonkeys the other day. As a reader, I found it very informative. I had no idea the different processes authors went through or the extent you all go to write. It was an eye opener and I enjoyed it tremendously. Thanks for input on the process as well.

Have a great day.

Problem Child said...

Process is ever-evolving. One day, I'll hit that magic combo and the words will fly off my fingers.

Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Anonymous said...

Yes, what you ladies go through to write a book is very eye opening. My process progression would be that I am suppose to signs papers tomorrow for the selling of my home. Then I have 10 days to get out and I don't have another place bought yet. I will be going to live with 1 of my sisters (and 4 kids, should be interesting), will need to put a lot of my stuff in storage while I am looking for a new place. So in the next week my life will be topsy turvy to say the least.

Angel said...

RobertsonReads--CONGRATULATIONS!!! Though the next few weeks may be hectic, we know you've been looking forward to this sale for quite a while. Fingers crossed that you find a place that suits your needs quickly and can settle into a life near your family like you've been wanting. Enjoy this new phase!


Caffey said...

Thanks bunches! Will email you!
Congrats too on your Golden Heart nomination!!!! That makes it a winner already!

Rhonda Nelson said...

My process is called "Word Vomit." I spew it all onto the page. ;-)

Instigator said...

Process? What's that? Actually, I do have a's just weird and unusual - no comments from the peanut gallery! I write my rough drafts on my alphasmart in the bathtub. Shrugs. It works for me.


Angel said...

Rhonda, I do actually call my rough drafts "vomiting onto the page." :) Nice to know I'm not the only one.


Playground Monitor said...

Word vomit was what I did during NaNoWriMo and it got me 50K words closer to "The End." But eventually you have to clean up the vomit and I'm doing that now. As long as I keep repeating "This was vomit, this was vomit, this was vomit" I don't read passages and think "PM, whatever made you think you could write?"

Smarty Pants said...

I wish I knew what my process was so I would know that I needed to do X, Y, Z to get started. As it is, I just sort of open the file, read back to the beginning, review my synopsis to see where I'm supposed to be, then plow forward.

I guess the only weird thing is that I write at work. Almost never write at home. Weird, eh? And there's nothing quite as creatively stimulating as a really long, boring meeting where I can zone out and start doing handwritten pages.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

My process is always evolving, and I've wasted lots of space on my blog talking about it, LOL. It's like my topic du jour about once every two or three weeks. :)

I think, as we grow as writers, our process definitely changes. When you first start writing, everything requires equal attention. As you complete manuscripts and get better at it, you learn what your own personal Waterloo is and that's where you focus a lot more energy. I think. :)

As I've said before, I don't plot. I have two characters, internal conflicts, some sort of external issue bringing them together, and I'm off to the races. It works for me, though it can also create wheel-spinning. I spin my wheels less and less these days, because I've learned that all the hard work occurs in the first three or four chapters. Once I get the set up right, the rest is easier.

Sherry Werth said...

I read Julie Leto's post at Plot Monkeys last night. (Thanks for the info Angel) I don't have a process yet, but I have realized I need to be alone when I'm writing. Right now my desk is in the middle of household central and I can't concentrate with the TV blaring and at least two different conversations going on at the same time. I have a small house. son will be getting married soon and is in the 'process' of buying a house. And since hubby won't build my little writer's cottage out back, guess who will be commandeering that room? ME! :D

Anonymous said...

wtg cathie it is u rite lol