Thursday, August 07, 2014

My writing process at the moment

Rebecca Schwarz tagged me re: writing about my writing process. My process is undergoing change right now. For a year or more I was happily doing rewrites all the time and would rewrite a short story's text from scratch often. These rewrites might not change much ...wording always changed a little, but the structure of the story often did not. I was heavily biased towards a complete retype of the story to make some small change consistently throughout the story.

I was really proud of these rewrites and they made hitting wordcount goals easy. But I came to believe that they were wasting a lot of my time, and I swung the other direction, often spending many writing sessions working on the outline for a story and not writing any prose.

I'm trying to find the synthesis for those two poles now. I'm still spending a lot of time on planning; I don't like to go into a story without knowing where it is going. But I also find that I can generate ideas for a long time and often can't choose an idea without testing it with some prose.

Most recently, I was unable to decide what to do with a story where there was a magical object, and I couldn't seem to pick any one way to visualize it. The story needed a MacGuffin, but I didn't know whether it should be a magic ring or a magic juice jar or what.

After a couple of days of not writing much, I came back and sat down and just started drafting the middle of the story, and quickly settled on a shape for the object. More and more I'm finding this technique useful: generate lists of ideas, then draft to make a decision.

Okay, those are my thoughts on process today. Now I'll tag Doug Sims.

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