During an interview I had a while back I was asked what my writing process was like. Of course I couldn't put LOL as my response, but that's exactly what I did...I laughed out loud. Then I explained that I don't have a writing process, which, when admitted, reads like the eighth deadly sin. For my novella Azazel, the story hit me like a brick thrown from a cannon. WHAM! I knew the story, I knew the characters, and I simply sat down and wrote it. For my novel Asmodeus, I wrote a chapter a day and stumbled my way through the first draft. It wasn't until my second round of edits that it resembled an actual story. Heaven Sent was much like Asmodeus, and Samael...don't get me started. It only took me a month to write the first draft...and then two months to revise it.
With my next book I plan on doing a little research first. I’ve decided to go the 'worksheet' route. What the hell is that, you ask? Well, I have a worksheet for character development, scene descriptions, GMC (goal, motivation, conflict), a conflict grid (can't have too much conflict), a relationship toolbox (that just helps you figure out why the two main characters should fall in love), and my Fast Draft and Revision Hell worksheets. Yes, I'm still trying to find my process, but I'm afraid I've already found it - every book is different. I've listened to other writers talk about their process, and each and every one has a different way of completing their book (though most seem to have a handle on their own individual process). Through the grapevine I've heard that Nora (who doesn't need a last name) writes only dialogue in her first draft, which she so sweetly calls her POS (piece of shit, for you innocents out there). It (supposedly) takes her three drafts and then she has a completed novel. I wish. Sometimes I only need two drafts, maybe three. Other times...I actually lose count. I’ve begun to wonder, are there other authors out there like me?
Am I actually committing the eighth deadly sin?
But even if I do come up with my own handy-dandy process, would it be a perfect fit for another writer? Probably not. If I thought there was a perfect writing process out there, I'd try out Nora's, since she is the most prolific romance author to date. But writing only dialogue for the first draft wouldn't suit me. I already know this, so why waste my time? There is no magic pill...quite unfortunate...so I'll just muddle along until I find my own brand of genius when it comes to the writing process.
What I can do is give you a few ideas for reading material that may help you find your own process. Stephen King wrote a wonderful book, ON WRITING, that chronicles his writing endeavors. He talks about rejection and how he remained motivated through those hard times. In JR Ward’s book, THE BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD: AN INSIDER’S GUIDE, she talks about her own writing process (which is incredible, by the way). My personal favorite craft book is Goal, Motivation and Conflict by Debra Dixon. This book takes you by the hand and guides you through the process of coming up with a solid plot, creating engaging characters and writing scenes that will keep your story flowing.
I’ll leave you with a quote. Knowing is not enough; you must apply. Willing is not enough; you must do. ~Goethe
Thanks to Dawn for blogging with us at Five Scribes today. Leave a comment with your process (if you have one!), and we'll draw two lucky winners - one will get a copy of Asmodeus in print and another will get a wallop of new and gently used books I'm culling from my bookshelf (book-a-palooza!).