As work on my latest book draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on how different my writing process has been for this book when compared to the others. Each book I’ve written has followed a different process. In my early days, I would write a chapter and have to polish it before I could move on. Things have changed since then.
My favourite part of the writing process is planning the book. The time when all the ideas pop up and the characters come into focus is magical for me. Writing the first draft is a close second. The first draft is only for me and I can let go in many ways. But then comes editing. I do not like editing. It’s painful even though I know it’s a necessary part of turning out a book. I find too many things wrong with the manuscript and begin to consider my decision to write at all.
A few things changed with this latest book. So I thought I’d share them with you in the obscure hope that someone somewhere might find them helpful.
- I started writing immediately I arrived home after doing the school run without checking on emails, social media or what was going on in the world. No distractions and straight into the story.
- I created a very limited collection of music that immediately sucked me into my characters' worlds.
- I gave myself permission to keep the format loose. Scenes were written out of order, full sentences weren’t always present, and description was added later.
But the moment I'm done, when all the revisions on my list have been ticked off, that’s something that can’t be beaten. The recognition that I've created something out of nothing.
Now I plan to have a day or three off before starting my next story and in the meantime I’m going to read and read and read, oh, and er, clean the house!