I thought I would have a bit of fun with today’s post. 🙂 I know that Valentine’s Day is coming, and I did consider posting a sweet love song sort of montage video (there are several on my Music Meets Movies playlist). However, as I was scrolling through that list, I came upon this one. May your Valentine far exceed these options. 🙂
Did you notice how the splicing of a few clips makes the story appear to be different from how it actually is in the film? I did. BUT I still enjoy the video — and that last shot of Henry Crawford and his expression as he walks away, I thought worked perfectly as an ending both for the video and song.
Just like last week, I do not have a story excerpt to share this week, but I do have a little peek into my writing process for those who might find such things interesting. 🙂
I have finished the bonus short story to go with Enticing Miss Darcy, and I have received notes back on Enticing Miss Darcy from my first reader. This means I will be sending it out to my second reader this week.
That means I will need to begin a new story this week, which also means I most likely will not have an excerpt ready to share by next Monday. I always like to have a few thousand words of a story written before sharing.
So, how do those few thousand words and the rest of the story get written? Like this:
I tend to follow a process of writing that I like to call writing into the fog. (It’s my take on the info found in Writing into the Dark by Dean Wesley Smith.) What this means for me is that planning before I begin is minimal — think word webs and sticky notes and a few bullet points at the most.
Where my planning happens is during writing. I fill in sheets of information as I go, and I have a story structure diagram hanging above my desk that reminds me to ask how the scene I am about to write fits into the plot.
To a planner sort of person, it might seem a bit scattered and even scary to write a story without an outline safety net. However, for me, an official sort of outline tends to tie me up in knots creatively.
It’s taken me a long while to accept that this is how I write best and embrace it. It’s not a ‘wrong’ way for me to write — it might be for someone else, but it is not for me. This is where I got stuck — worrying that I was doing it wrong — until I read Dean Wesley Smith’s book in which he pretty closely described how I tend to write.
I did a series of seven posts on Instagram (#writingintothefog) about how I was writing Enticing Miss Darcy using this into the fog method.
In brief, my process looks like this:
- Brainstorm — Choosing the title first is major as that tends to be my focus. Then, I consider incidents that might happen along the way and any character defects/improvements I wish to include. This might be done by scrawling all over a page or plastering it with sticky notes, or it might simply be done in my mind.
- Set up the notes page document — this includes a chapters chart, a calendar, a section for characters and details, and a section to list relationship plot points. I also include an area for a working blurb, in case I have one. I don’t always.
- Begin writing — Jump right into the action. Step into a character’s head and settle in for at least the first scene. Remember to record things on the notes page.
- On the second day and all following days, I will re-read/edit what I wrote the day before writing a new scene. Remember to record things on that notes page. It’s super important to help keep things straight and see how the story is building.
- Anytime there is a need for a name or some info needs researching — pause and research before continuing. (And don’t forget to record things on the note page if necessary. 🙂 )
- Share — excerpts on Mondays and full chapters on Patreon.
- Freak out somewhere in the middle that I’m messing it all up, question everything, and torment my friends with my self-doubts. Take their advice to basically shut up and get on with it. (They always say it nicer than that. That’s how I reword it to myself. LOL)
- Hit that exciting moment when the ending starts to come into view and realize that it’s all actually coming together and might work out well. 🙂 (And often get struck by an idea for a sequel or even a series of sequels.)
- Write the conclusion. Share excitedly that I am done! Bask in that glorious feeling for a brief moment before…
- Edit <– this includes a full re-read looking for errors and adding a few details that I didn’t already add when I re-read before beginning a new scene each night. Send it to my first reader and fix as needed. Send to my second reader and fix <– this fix includes another full re-read. Finally, prepare for publication.
That’s my process, and believe it or not, as crazy as that list looks, I LOVE doing it. I crave writing time. I even feel lost when I don’t have something to edit before I start writing each night, and, about the time I start to see the end of my current project, I start getting fidgety about what I will write next. I simply love to write. And I can’t express to you how much I appreciate the fact that you guys read that writing whether here on my blog, over on Patreon, or in a book.
Have a wonderful week and Happy Valentine’s Day!