I Wrote: What's this 'writing process' garbage? I don't use processed writing, only natural ones...
I'm a complete and unapologetic pantser when it comes to writing. I get enough of a concept to start writing, and do my research and plotting as I write. No pre-planning, no outline. It's not the most organized method and it certainly can be slow, but it's what works for me. If I try to plot everything beforehand, my mind just goes blank. I do loads of self-edits as I write, rereading what was written previously to catch any typing aberrations, and then get someone else who's much better at such things than I to help with the final edit (who is paid in crab rangoons once the book is published). While it's being edited, I work on the over art; then it's off to my formatter and, finally, releasing for self-publication.
When I share writing publicly outside of Amazon, I actually share the drafts and not the final version (but always with a note to let readers know that!).
Then, when I start to focus on a chapter, I first think what I want to happen on said chapter, so that I can then "simply write".
My writing process is very much dependant in what I'm feeling in the moment, and I usually end a chapter in a moment which I like after I have written a certain amount of words.
I'm doing this because I'm mostly writing my story to write it, as I have tried preparing other stories for longer periods of time, but end up never writing them. Also with this method I have actually managed to write two chapters weekly for over a month, so I think it's working (for me at least :P)
Stage 1b: Start making plot skeleton
Stage 1b2: come up with characters.
Stage 2a: Start writing
Stage 2b: Realize I'm straying from the plot skeleton
Stage 2c: Decide how the restructure plot with new ideas that are better
Stage 2d: Edit chapters to make more correct with new plot
Stage 3a: Realize I now have a dead line senses I'm posting it
Stage 3b: Panic weekly and flounder to get done
Stage 3c: Panic editting, re-read chapter 2-3 times in a day
Stage 3d: Continue to freak out.
Stage 5a: Realize I've lost an entire day to panicking
Stage 5b: Realize I put it up already
Stage 5c: Loop back to stage 3
Rule #1 - Make sure there's always, always paper and pen/pencil available (or a computer with a text editor) no matter where I am. In the car, at my office, next to the shower, next to my bed, etc.
Method 1 - which I use the most and generally results in an unfinished concept story "bit"
A) Thought, image, idea, scene pops into my head
B) Write it down immediately in fragmented half-sentences until enough is on paper to remember later
C) Wait 10 minutes (and/or finish whatever I was doing when the thought hit me)
D) If it seems like an interesting concept - mentally review and start fleshing it out until it is at least a paragraph worth of writing
E) If the concept persists for a couple hours (yes, I wait hours and all the good ones percolate in my head)... write out the paragraph or page of information on paper. I rarely go digital right away - pretty much only if paper isn't around.
F) Edit the paragraph (or page or three pages) and figure out if the character's story is bigger than this concept. If yes, think of a plot/outline and write that down. If no, make an ending for the concept story (if time/distractions permit).
Method 2 - Which works really well but only if I have a willing audience
A) Get a group of 15+ children of various ages asking for a story
B) Improvise a story beginning
C) Play off the audience reactions and improvise any necessary information the children care about. Skip the information the kids don't care about.
D) When the children start getting bored or aren't asking questions, add an action scene or ask for their advice. (Kids love it when you ask "So what do YOU think XX should do now?)
E) By now, the story should have a flavor and basic plot premise. Mentally finish adding the necessary pieces to make it a full-circle fleshed out story. Then tell it to the children.
F) Add an ending to satisfy the children's curiosity. Send the group away.
G) Write everything down, as much as possible, even the bad parts that don't make sense...before forgetting things. If no paper is available - mentally review over and over until paper IS available.
H) Edit so the written version makes logical sense.
I) Edit so the written version has elements that make the reader react like the children did. Because voice inflection, non-verbal interaction, etc... is hard to know about unless you write it in.
J) Read completed story out loud to yourself, word for word, and fix parts where you were about to "say" things that weren't written.
For longer works of fiction....none of which I've ever finished....
A) Follow short story method 1 and realize this character has a much bigger story
B) Outline what the other parts of the story are
C) Decide what the setting(s) are for the story. Flesh out basic characters, vague plot-crisis/climax areas, character change/development spots, and figure out the flow for the story.
D) Decide perspectives to tell the story. If necessary, write out one or two scenes in multiple perspectives.
E) And....get writers block, overwhelmed by all the things, and just make as many notes as possible to try to get back to it later.
- decide where I want the chapter to start and end
- write in square brackets and point form each major point of the scene in the order they appear
[he returns home to find his cat has gotten out]
- word-vomit the first draft (maybe I'll even try setting a timer)
- edit and obsess however much I want
- profit (?)
- Get Idea. Method varies.
- Run the idea through my head for two weeks. There is no working on the idea. This is just stew time and refining the idea more and more to a writable state.
- If an idea fails to capture my attention then it's not a worthy idea. It gets thrown back to the primordial vat in my head. I don't bother writing it down. I don't revisit old ideas. I just move on until another idea forms and repeat. This is how I reduce junk stories.
- If the idea makes it passed the two-week gauntlet then I start working on refining the plot, building characters, and working on the story. I will handwrite notes in a notebook/journal. I don't spend a lot of time on worldbuilding. Characters build the world as they go so I only work on basic relevant information. This is the time when I do the bulk of my research. I don't outline. Maybe a timeline and it can be constructed at any time of the process.
- I write chronologically. I don't like writing out of order because it annoys me.
- I will spot edit as I go. If there is something that grates me in the story that I don't like and I feel like I can't move on, I will edit it. This is one reason why I don't post first drafts. There will always be something I'm unhappy with. And sometimes it might be two weeks before I get over it and start writing forward again.
- If there are changes that can wait, I will wait until the draft is complete.
- I do have a 5,000, 15k, and 30k abandon points. It's perfectly okay for me to drop a story at or before these points. However, 30k is the point of no return, I have to finish the story.
- After I'm done drafting, I decide what needs to be done. Leave it as is and the story doesn't see the light of day passed my hard drive or attempt an edit for some purpose. Usually I have the most troubled parts noted and what I want to do to fix them.
- This is also the time I decide whether the story is worthy of a re-write. I hate doing it. But I will do it if the story has potential.
- Editing takes between 6-8 months. Though a little less if it's a novella. That's 4-6 months.
- The first round of edits aren't done in order. They are done in order of how problematic the section of the story is. So anything that has me moving chapters, deleting chapters, splitting chapters, and just rewriting entire chapters, comes first.
- Editing is done in waves. First is story correction, next is character correction, next is smoothing those out. Each of those are done within a draft. At this point I'm working on a 2nd draft.
- If all goes well, I'll move onto a 3rd draft. A third draft is where I re-read the entire story, print it out, and mark any changes I want to make in the draft on the print-out and move on to working on a 4th draft.
- 4th draft, is intending to post online, is what people get to read. Notice this isn't a final draft. There will still be flaws present, but the story is what I want it to be.
- Post online while using it as an opportunity to proofread work more not to mention spot editing or fixing issues that arises. I'm dyslexic, I will miss everything and make more mistakes while correcting mistakes. That's just how it is.
- Finish posting online and consider future goals.
1. Something inspires me. An idea is born and given a section in my plot bunnies folder.
2. The idea gets moved from bunnies to outlining and given it's own document. While at my job I visualize the story beats. Not working on anything deeper than what happens next. (i.e. not naming characters or locations. Grabbing whatever equivalent is fresh in the mind. In this phase if I need a kingdom name I'll default to Corona ((Tangled)) or Arendelle ((Frozen)) Same happens with names, dates or whatever thing I need.) In this phase nothing is more important that what happens next.
3. Outlining and plotting. The outline now gets a folder in my novels section! It's actively going to become a book~ Here I give characters their new names. Locations get made and actual maps are created. Any obvious plotholes are mended in the Alpha outline and character sheets (dnd 5e style) are created for the main party.
4. Alpha draft! It's exactly what it sounds like.
5. Editing and posting. Surface level edits are made and the story gets posted for initial feedback.
6. Actual editing. Story is printed out and I go through it with a pen. This is usually after some time has passed. Like a week or so.
7. The beta draft. Using the alpha as an outline, I rewrite the whole story. Fixing errors in the narrative. Expanding upon areas that need expanding and rearraigning chapters.
8. Assumedly editing and beta readers but I haven't finished the beta draft of my first manuscript though I'm less than two chapters away from doing so.... so. That's about it.
2. Repeat as many times as needed to finish the chapter.
3. Reread the chapter, fixing incorrect words/editing as needed.
Optional step: have loose, sentence long plot point highlights to string the chapters along to.
I organize it in terms of events.
I watch movies, read books, and do whatever else I can to find inspiration and tropes.
I combine all those tropes and inspirations into the story and re-write my outline to include them strategically.
I write a couple chapters with respect to the outline.
I re-check the chapters and input dialogue and personalities based on how they speak and add dimensions to my characters.
Finished with all of that, I read it over for corrections while adding more descriptions wherever I can to lengthen the chapter.
I give it one final read to search for errors and clarify concepts further. If it confused me even a bit, I either make it completely understandable or delete it.
Then I write a couple more chapters, making sure that everything is smooth flowing.
Think of a basic idea. (World, characters, some important factions.)
Figure several heavy key points for the story. (Things that need to happen no matter what. Like character A meeting char B. Or char B going to point C)
Fill in the between as I write the story. (While trying to make it be as 'filler' less as possible.)
Essentially, I’m making up the story as I go.
Can create points where I back myself to a wall? Definitely.
Not the correct way to do it? Probably.
Can end up with a lot of filler chapters? Please, my whole story is usually just filler anyway.
Still the way I do it? Yus.
It’s easy on my brain xD
1: Decide one thing which I want to have in a story. I delegate ten seconds to this task.
2: Build a bit around that idea. This can take upwards of about five minutes.
3: Write the story. Varies in length. Could take a few weeks to a few months.
3.5: While writing, I also continually release it.
4: Pray to the elder gods, in hopes that they will grant me pasta perfectly cooked.
5: Finish the story, and move back to step 1.
Currently on step 3. 4 is going to be a doozy.
1. Form the base concept to the idea.
2. Expand to include characters then plot or other way around, counting on what comes easiest.
3. Play around with beginnings until one fits for place to easily start.
4. Think about the end goals for the characters and how they work within the base concept.
5. Imagine cool stuff that must happen. Random moments to major turning points.
6. Maybe take the write out notes, or just write the begin out.
7. write the next part
8. write another part needed to get to the imagined moments.
9. repeat, repeat, repeat until the end.