Friday, November 12, 2010

The Writing Process

Hello All, I hope life is treating you well.  Things are good here in my neck of the woods.  I've been plugging away at the second draft of my work-in-progress, and after several re-writes, the first chapter is nearly finished.

I tend to edit as I go.  Although I've heard some writers argue this method slows the process, my mind has never worked like other peoples.  For me, ideas come in pieces, parts of dialogue, character development and chunks of scenes.  First, I write the main ideas.  Then, comes what I refer to as "The fillers," or the editing portion of my process.

 For example, in my first go round, a sentence may come out something like this:  Despite her reservations, Soledad's curiosity itched at herShe had to know who was in the bed.

 Okay, so the idea is there, but there's no sense of foreboding or urgency.   Next, comes the pondering part of my writing process, where I sit blankly in front of the computer while it stares accusingly back at me, blinking, begging for more pages.  Unfortunately, the ideas to complete my scenes don't come when I need them.  Instead, they hit me at 3 a.m., or while I'm in the shower, or carpooling a load of boisterous kids.  I have learned to carry a notebook with me, just for these moments.

Once I've written all my ideas down, I return to the computer ready to add my fillers.  Now, the revised sentence may look something like this: Despite her reservations, Soledad's curiosity itched at her as painfully as an irritated rash she wasn't supposed to scratch. It was an awful curiosity, the kind that tempted passersby to gawk at a fatal accident. Similarly, the temptation to know the identity of the person in the bed was too hard to resist. Soledad....  

Well, you get the point, I won't bore you with the rest of the paragraph.  The reasons I have to edit as I go are glaringly obvious, I need several re-writes to fit the pieces of my scenes together.  In fact, I've always envied those truly talented authors who can produce a well thought out, well written draft on the first go round.  I've always said, "Where I lack in talent I make up with tenacity."  Hopefully, my hard work will pay off someday.

 Anywho, I would be interested to know what your process is.  Do you write the entire draft without looking back, then revise after it's complete?  Are you an edit as you go type of author?  Has anyone ever written a perfect draft the first time out of the gate?  Please share your experiences.  Perhaps I can learn something from them.  Until next time, happy writing.