Today a bunch of my writing friends and I are talking about our writing processes and sharing pictures of our notebooks on our various blogs. You’ll find links at the end of my post.
My writing process has varied a little with every book I’ve written, though I do have some general standards. I start with an idea, a world or a character, or a combination of those and start brainstorming. If I get enough ideas to carry me through a story I’ll start writing them down, pretty haphazardly at first. By the time I’m ready to get started I often (except those times I just jumped in and did this all after I had the first five chapters written) will write down everything I “know” about the world. Then I organize it a little (sometimes a lot as with the latest project) and then make a general summary that serves as my “outline.” I build characters, and create worlds and… oh wait… you know what? Yeah… The only time I’ve ever done so much preparation was in the novel I’m writing now. LOL. It has paid off so far and I’m super glad I did all the world building/character naming/etc and I’d do it again in the future. Especially for a project of this scope. You can apply all I said above to my latest project then. For almost every other project I’ve had a general idea of where I was going, then I dove in and make all the notes as I went. Except those times when I just started writing.
My writing process has evolved quite a bit over the last few years. I imagine I’ll continue to change it to suite different projects. Through all my changes though, a few things have remained constant… I love college ruled comp books, and I love my Moleskine and my purple and black pens. My handwriting… not so much, as you’ll see. Honest, it used to be a lot better. I had a wrist injury several years ago that essentially destroyed my handwriting. It has recovered a little, but I can go back through my college notes and see exactly where I hurt myself.
I also used to write everything by hand in a comp book, then type it up. This was nice as, at the time, I didn’t have a laptop or a messed up wrist (yes, I did teach myself to write left handed) and I wasn’t writing nearly as fast as I do now. These days it would be very inefficient, and painful, to write an entire novel by hand. I still use my notebooks though. It’s rare that I don’t have some sort of access to note taking devices and I carry my comp book to work with me, and I use it whenever I get an idea I need to jot down. Now for the fun part: pictures 🙂
Ahh, the purple ink… though it doesn’t come across real well in the scanned image (I didn’t photoshop any of these to clean them up). I actually can’t remember what this project was… It’s old, and my handwriting has recovered somewhat since I jotted this scribble down.
And these are notes from a Sci Fi world I was building.
The Moleskine came in 2005 and I’ve gone so far as to carry, and use it, on trail rides… yes, some of my notes have been taken from the back of my horse 🙂
You’ll want to check out everyone else on this great blog hop. Here are the links.