Monday, September 25, 2006

Pre-Writing…

Like Molly, I love to hear about each writer’s process. Especially the pre-writing stage, because I think here is where you can see the most variations.

Personally, I’ve played around with stage lately. The one thing that does not vary is what I call the percolation stage… where I mull the idea around in my head, play with the characters, and figure out some key scenes. All without writing a word down.

I create images in my head, conversations, some of which will make it into the book, some won’t. I usually do this while I’m finishing the previous book. This makes me a little schizophrenic, but I can’t help myself.

Once this is done, I’ll sketch out a rough outline of the characters, the plot, the major turning points, and the ending. I have to know the ending.

I’ve even tried detailing the book out scene by scene, with mixed results. A lot of the scenes changed during the first draft, so I’m not sure this helped me at all.

As I figure out my overall process, I know pre-planning is one of my favourite parts of the writing process. I also know it’s something I need to get better at. I keep thinking if I prefect this part, I can soften the pain of editing, or at least cut back on a draft or two.

I’d love to hear about other people’s pre-writing process and what they use that helps them write a better, cleaner first draft of a book.

3 comments:

Molly O'Keefe said...

this is my favorite stage - when it's still in your head and you haven't actually messed anything up - as you say. In my head it all seems to work - my heroine is never ineffective and my hero never obtuse.

It's funny - the thing I actually like the least is writing...

Sinead M said...

I agree.. the writing is HARD.. but that planning stage... sheer bliss...

Christine said...

See, I'm not so good on the planning. I usually write the first three or four chapters, get stuck, then write my synopsis. So far it's worked :).

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