Wednesday, March 20, 2013

An Evolution: My Work In Progress

I got this hat my senior year of high school for a band trip to Disney World. (I am quite pale and need protection from the evil sun). I spent much of that trip playing cards in various Disney parks with the guy I (much later) married. This has been a random fact brought to you by Sarah Hipple.

My Latest Writing Process

The way I'm writing my current WIP is pretty unusual for me, but I really like how it's turning out, so I thought I'd go over the "process." (The term process makes it sound much more planned out than it actually is, but it's the best word I've got.)

  1. The idea - My husband had a dream. It's pretty much nothing like what I'm writing about, but it was about dragons and that was what started me with this idea of ancient dragons and ancient enemies. I'm not even sure how much ancient enemies is applicable anymore, but that was where it all started. Then I started thinking about a time in recent-ish history that had an underutilized villain that I could use in my fantasy world. I went with the 1950s and McCarthy. Interesting, no?
  2. Brainstorming - I wrote down all sorts of ideas. Some of which I used. Some I did not. Some just sort of evolved into different ideas.
  3. First Draft (sort of) - So then I started writing because that's how I do things. But the thing is, around 40,000 words in I just felt like this wasn't quite going in the right direction. There wasn't enough tension. I didn't have a big, bad, villain who was smack in your face. I just knew it could be better because the idea was pretty cool, but it wasn't materializing in my pages.
  4. Break - I decided to put it away and think about it for a while. In the meantime, I edited one or two of my other manuscripts. I just wasn't sure where I wanted to take my book, and I knew it could be better
  5. Outlining - I used what I had written to help write down some ideas for how I could make this book better. I know. It might have been helpful to outline before I started writing, but that honestly wouldn't have worked for me. I didn't know the characters yet. Some materialized as I was writing, and I am so glad I know them now, but I couldn't have known them until I'd written them into my original first draft. So many of my ideas flow from what I write out that I can't produce a very good outline before I write. So I used the ideas I had from my first draft and figured out where I needed more tension, where I needed to cut back, and what sort of things I'd like to add to make this book give me the sense of satisfaction I knew I could get from it. And there was my bullet point outline.
  6. Draft One Point Five (or whatever number you want it to be) - I took what I had from my old first draft and started hacking it to pieces, adding in all sorts of things, cutting out all sorts of things, and generally being much happier with the way this draft was going. That is what I'm in the middle of now, and I am so happy with the way things are turning out!

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