Everyone has one.
Some writers are fantastically organized, with meticulous plotting, spreadsheets galore, a fabulous title, months of research at their fingertips. Plonk them in a seat and they can emerge six hours later with five thousand quality words.
Others are ‘pants-ers’, going with the flow, waiting for those moments of inspiration to hit, happy to see the different pieces fit together, like a quilt sewn of patches.
Others of us are a mix, finding benefit from structure (or at least an idea of what the end might look like!), whilst seeing the positives of keeping things a little ‘loose’ as our characters come to life and beg to say something other than what was planned.
I’ve written eight novels now, and find my writing process varies. Some projects have been amazingly straightforward (strangely enough, these tend to be NaNoWriMo projects). Other stories have proved amazingly coy, resulting in twiddling of thumbs amidst mild panic.
The story that wrote fastest (and I think was one of the best!) was a NaNo project, written only a few weeks after I’d finished the main character’s sister’s story. This meant I had a great grasp on storyworld, and together with a few weeks dreaming and planning (‘stewing’ I like to call it), meant I had both a basic chapter outline and whole scenes ready to roll when the time came to ‘piece’ it into my story. I could write fast, leaving asterisks for the tricky research questions I hadn’t been able to learn prior to commencing, like whether vermilion really was a colour accessible to the average amateur artist in 1819 England. (Yes, is the answer, though it was both toxic and expensive!)
When I think about my writing process, I realise I usually enjoy the editing, too: tweaking words, culling repetitions, going for a(nother) cup of tea as I mull over phrasing, often aloud, which make me very glad when I've got the house to myself! And then there's rereading, where sometimes I'm taken by surprise by what I've written, and I'm brought to tears - in a good way! Moments of gold in the sometimes painful journey of bringing what once were vague stirrings of an idea into something tangible and real.
Over to you. What’s your writing process? What's your favourite part about writing?
Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of romance, especially that of the Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novel 'The Elusive Miss Ellison' will be published in the US by Kregel in February 2017. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.
Connect with her: www.carolynmiller.org