I just want to say a quick thanks for having me along! It’s been a great week!
Everyone has a different method they use to get their writing job done. We all know that getting started is tricky, the writing is easy, but getting the project completed to our utmost satisfaction is the true trial. In order to get the most out of the job we do, we settle into our individual writing processes – and hope for the best when it’s all over.
My Writing Process
I have always found that the best way to write a rough draft with the greatest efficiency is to use the old-fashioned pen and paper. Writing on paper opens up my ability to ignore spelling mistakes, ignore grammar mistakes, and keep my goal focused on getting the idea down, whether it is a good one or a bad one. I try to write a little something every day, if time allows. My brain doesn’t stop working and fodder for stories comes from every direction.
For me, paper has the advantage of being light-weight, easily transportable, and doesn’t require batteries or a power cord to work. It won’t break if one of the kids drops it. I don’t have to turn it off on the airplane during takeoff or landing. However, there are the occasions when my pen disappears. I try to keep an entire pack on hand.
Ideas aren’t always going to be magnificent or awe inspiring – not the first time around. Sometimes, ideas are just clutter. Writing on paper allows me to de-clutter and defragment my brain’s file space. If it’s a terrible idea, I don’t want to expend the energy and time fussing with the details. I just want the idea gone so I don’t have it rattling around in my gray matter for another twenty-four hours. My writing and editing time is limited, and I want to use that time effectively. But even bad ideas are saved in the paper archives. They might seem better in the future.
I’ve tried to write my rough drafts directly on the screen. Unfortunately, I’m easily distracted by the little red and green squiggles popping up as I type. The perfectionist in me wants to fix it immediately. I backspace too much and re-read the previous paragraphs when I should be pushing forward. While I can type at a rate of over 80 words per minute, this rate doesn’t do me any good if I’m bogged down by my own neuroses.
Interestingly enough, writing by hand is 10x slower than typing your thoughts, and typing is 10x slower than thinking your thoughts, making writing those thoughts by hand 100x slower than thinking them. Oddly enough, I seem to overcome this paradox while writing stories. We won’t be discussing my legibility at this juncture.
Good ideas get typed into the word processor, thus beginning the refinement and revision process. I must first organize the bits and pieces, written in several blank books or on scraps of paper and not always in chronological order. I number the pages and mark them with sticky tabs.
As I speedily read back what I’ve written, I begin to focus on the various literary tools that add character to my writing style. I seek out moments where alliteration can be used to enhance the meaning of the passage, working out consonance and assonance to showcase my skills. I consult reference books and sites to add details. I begin to rearrange conversations to bring out the most relevant dialogue. I use my own face to act out the emotions and delve into describing the actions and reactions of the characters so that they become real. But even the second time around, I don’t spend too much time fussing over the final product. The second stage is getting the words down digitally and on a back-up for safe keeping.
After letting the story stew for a couple of weeks without so much as a peek (during these two weeks, I’m busy spilling out more ideas for other stories), I print a hard copy and begin at the beginning. I read with fresh eyes. Now I can begin to scratch out irrelevant paragraphs and scribble in better descriptive words. I can see what makes sense and rewrite troubling sentences. I weed out glaring typos. Taking this back to the screen, I enter the corrections, smoothing out the overall work. I get to sit back and think to myself, “This is going to be awesome.”
After a couple of rounds of printing, scribbling and rewriting, changing font and size to keep the reading fresh, I’m ready for the final edits. This time I start from the end. Writers all have a tendency to tweak the beginning of the book over and over again. We’re tired by the time we reach the end, missing obvious mistakes. To combat this, I take each paragraph on its own, reading carefully twice to catch remaining errors and move backward through the story. Of course, I know the story by heart. I know where it’s heading. Reading it backwards provides clarity that everything at the end comes from something at the beginning.
This process may seem slow to some and outdated to others, but it’s what works for me; and I know exactly the reasons why. I’ve tried various options, but this is where my comfort lies. I don’t have a specific spot where I do my writing. I enjoy the freedom of taking my writing with me anywhere I go.
Thanks for reading! See you again soon!
~Elizabeth N. Love
Call of the Goddess by Elizabeth N. Love
Amazon Link: http://goo.gl/8pPUmR
About the Book:
On the faraway planet of Bona Dea, in a society forged by ancient settlers, trouble is brewing. Young psychic Axandra, never comfortable with her gift, is being forced to use it for the benefit of her people as ruling matriarch of the entire world and host to a powerful entity known only as the Goddess. Struggling with her fate, used as a pawn between warring factions, life for Axandra is almost too much to bear. Even the ministrations of her beloved companion, Quinn, may not prove powerful enough to overcome the stress threatening to destroy Axandra’s fragile soul.
About the Author:
Elizabeth N. Love is a native Kansas who grew up on the prairie in rural small towns. From a very young age she enjoyed creating stories and poems and practices daily in the art of wordsmithing. She also enjoys other forms of art, such as drawing and making music. She is currently finishing Book Two in this series, as well as working on a paranormal romance, a non-fiction narrative, and a new sci-fi novel based on an alternate past. She lives near Kansas City with her family.
Connect with Elizabeth!
Amazon Author: www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-N.-Love/e/B00JRM567O