Yup, it’s one of those ‘write like me, bitches’ posts– but it’s not, because every writer has their own process, and one size does not fit all.
I hate doing these, because when I wrote small-press erotic comics, I was tasked to do these posts often—it was considered ‘publicity’ and ‘promotion’, something the small-press pubs made the creator responsible for. My background’s in screenwriting, I’m writing ghost scripts for series-runner on a sexist/action horror television show. I hate it, but It makes more money for me than erotic graphic novels ever did! The main incentive for this work is that it allows me to set aside daily time to develop my first novel-series, Femitokon–and still pay my bills.
When I post my progress at Facebook or Twitter, I get questions like: What do you mean dialog’s done? Outline approved? Word counts, now? I thought you were writing this one last year?
When I write a novel, it’s a three stage process for me:
The first stage is the outline. I’m a serial outline-r, I cannot sit down and start writing a novel from start to finish free style—I’m too rigid a creator. I outline scene by scene, for every chapter—this is beneficial of late since the publisher I’m working with now is keen on reviewing outlines, before I start the manuscript.
Every publisher is different—but this one understand my methods and enables them.
Second, I begin dialog. In a perfect linear world, dialog-per scene writing would be dazzling, but my mind doesn’t work that way. I get random scenes in my head throughout the day, conversations take place (normally I’m pacing around, driving, or cooking, with my handy recorder on) and then later I go and type them out. I revise extensively when I piece all this dialog together in a .doc file called ‘dialog by scene’.
I read the dialog out loud to hear how it sounds–like I said, not every writer does this.
The third and final portion of my process is the first draft. I print my outline out on big index cards, tack them up over my desk along with the character arts (or without arts—but I’m a visual person, so character art helps me) then I pull up my dialog .doc alongside the blank .doc, and begin writing. This is where I become linear—I write the prose by chapter, include the dialog, and tap away daily until I get about 50k words or more. When that’s done, I put it away for a few days, then come back to it and read it out loud–revising what doesn’t sound right, before hoisting it off on the editor.
So there you go, that’s my writing process.
Admit it, you’ll sleep better tonight knowing how I write stuff…