My Writing Process

1) & 2)  What am I working on and how do I write what I write?

I currently have two works in progress (WIP).  I have been working on an outline and character questionnaires for a story and am still working on that.  However, that doesn’t seem to quench my need to be creative.  I guess I am just too used to writing “by the seat of my pants” (pantser), which is how I have written stories ever since I started writing way back when I was in junior high school, (what many places now call “middle school”).  I do not want to give up on the one that I am working on with an outline and character questionnaires, though, because I want to see what really does work better for me — “pantsing” or “planning”, or maybe I’ll be able to find something in between.  Any suggestions for something in between?

You may be wondering, “doesn’t pantsing require extra editing”?  All I can say is “not for me”.  You see, the way that I write, I simply sit down and begin writing and let the characters introduce themselves to me, and I let the characters tell the story.  I just type.  The next time I sit down to write, (which should be everyday, but, sadly, is not), I reread all that I have typed; and, yes, I do this each and every time I sit down to work on the story I am pantsing.  Isn’t that time consuming, you may ask.  Yes, it is.  However, it serves three wonderful purposes to me.  It refreshes my mind about the story, I change things and make edits on what I’ve written each and every time I sit down and reread, and it gets ideas flowing and awakens the characters, and they continue telling me the story.  That way, if I write a scene that I feel is lame or that doesn’t fit or advance the story, I can get rid of it the next day.  I just wrote such a scene last night, and the more I thought about it after walking away from my writing, the more I decided it does nothing to advance the plot.  Therefore, when I sit down to write again, be it today or tomorrow, I will get rid of that scene.  So, yes, I also spend time thinking about my stories and characters while I am not writing, which also helps my writing process for the next time I sit down to write.

3)  How does my book differ from others in its genre?

The only answer I have for this, is that it is written by me, in my voice, with characters I created in their own circumstances.  I hope that their circumstances and the plot is something fresh and new to the genre.  I hope that my characters are characters that you come to care about quickly and that you come to love and will not want to say goodbye to at the end of the story.  I hope there is an underlying Christian theme/message that will inspire you and touch your heart.

4)  Why do I write what I write?

Because I have to.  I have a need to get these stories on paper (or computer) because they will not let me rest if I do not.  I also write the kinds of stories that I love to read, and I may be writing more than one genre eventually because I have a story idea burning inside me that was born of helping my son with one of his writing assignments for his homeschool writers’ club.  It introduced me to a new genre that I never tried writing before and didn’t think I’d want to write, but I had so much fun helping him, that I just might give it a shot when I finish the two WsIP I am currently spending my time on.

5)  How does my writing process work?

I described my writing process near the top of this post, and when I did, I alluded to the answer to this question.  I haven’t reached a definite decision which writing process works best for me yet, but I do still enjoy writing as a pantser much more than as a planner.  However, because I haven’t yet had a story published, I can’t really say that my writing process definitely works, but I do believe that whatever writing process I (or you) are most comfortable with will be the one that will work in the end because if I am (or you are) using a process that I am (or you are) comfortable with, I believe I (or you) will be more productive and produce good, if not great, work.

What is your writing process?  Is it working well for you?  Leave a comment and let me and my readers know.

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One thought on “My Writing Process

  1. I think I’m a bit of a planner, and a bit of a pantser. Here’s how I did my novel. I first thought of the idea (I think I had some divine help in that), then I thought, how can I work that idea (of the gunfight) into a historical romance? I’m not a meticulous plotter, I followed Randy Ingermanson’s “three disasters and an ending” outline, if you could call it that. Then, I had to think of the characters. I did have a bit of help in that I was taking CWG classes at the time to help me outline the character sketch. And yet, with all that “planning” – many fun surprises awaited me as I wrote it, like Jackson, an ex-slave character who works for the railroad. Great fun! I love seeing how others work. We’re all so wonderfully unique and different! 🙂

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