02 February 2013 | By: Victoria Escobar

An Incite to my Writing Process

Wow.  What a crazy New Years so far I haven’t blogged since January.  I should probably take more time out for the little things.  ^_^ It is after all the little things that make life worthwhile can’t remember who said that.  

But anyway.  I feel like I’m doing something wrong.  Or maybe it’s just me.  

My writing process is weird. At least I feel it’s weird.  Maybe it’s not weird.  Maybe it’s just the way I think. 

The first step is almost always my note taking step.  In most circumstances I start with what I call my collective thoughts.  I jot down everything that I think inspired my idea.  Usually it looks like a single sheet of paper with a hell of a lot of random notes on it.  Unless the idea didn’t spring from a thought; if it came from a dream that I partially remember then I usually just skip to the second step. 

My second step is what I call a flow list.  Usually it’s twenty lines long and on each line I write a flow for what should be happening.  Here’s an example from a clip of my process for Of Gaea (available in March):

Yes that is my handwriting (rushed) and yes I spilled coffee on the notebook.  Moving on.

 It’s not very neat is it?  It’s not meant to be.  It’s like an outline of an outline.  So you can probably guess what I do next.  

An outline.  Usually heavily following the flow list but with more (or sometimes less) detail than the stark thoughts of the flow list.  I can tell you however, it did NOT follow the chart once I got started with the outline.  It needed cleaning up and certain actions rearranged and what not.  However that’s not a bad thing.  

I have a tendency once the outline is written to put each individual chapter from the outline on an index card.  And then rearrange the order, add index cards for what I think is missing, remove what I had added but don’t think is necessary after looking at the break down.

Once I have a finally layout it’s time to number them and type them out.  Yes, I type up a final outline.  You’ve witnessed my handwriting it’s better (and safer) this way. ^_^

The outline gets printed, hole punched and put in my binder of outlines to be written (There’s like ten of them in there at the moment not counting the sequel outlines).  That doesn’t make it final.  Nothing, and I mean nothing, is ever set in stone when it comes to my writing.  

I can’t show you the final outline as it contains super spoilers for the book, but I will say this: my pencil was still hard at work.  Several things are crossed out, I’ve got circles and arrows moving things around still, and notes to self (from research conducted) all over the place.  All that happened though, while I was writing. 

At this point if there’s something I need to research to be an expert matter on in my book I do the research.  I look up names, places, information, and the important stuff either gets bookmarked in a folder called “Currently Writing” or if I’ve titled the story already (which has happened during the outline process a few times) in a folder for the story.  Once I think I have everything I need it’s time to start. 

From the time I start writing I don’t rewrite in the story doc.  I will make note of whatever came to mind on the outline and keep moving forward.  If I move something as I’m writing because the character dictated it that way it gets noted and still, I keep moving forward.  

Something else I do while writing that I think is weird: I don’t read back over what I’ve written.  I may read back a paragraph if I’m starting for the day and want a refresher for where I left off, but until the editing process starts what I’ve written is what I’ve written.  If I think something needs to change as I go along it gets noted on the outline and fixed/changed once the entirety of the first draft is done. 

There are times when I do research as I’m writing.  The thesaurus is always open and so is Google if I have to look up something quickly and my saved links aren’t cutting it.  I try to keep this to a minimum.  Granted as hard as I try I don’t ever have bookmarks for everything.  So I’m lenient on myself in terms of “I don’t know everything just look it up”.  But because really once I’ve hit this point all I want to do is write I may just mark it in the outline to be verified later and keep going.  

That’s it.  That’s my writing process.  I think it’s weird, even anal at times.  I doubt anyone writes the way I do (though it would make me feel better if someone did. Lol.) This is what I’m comfortable with though and I can usually bang out eighty thousand words in eight weeks doing things this way.  

I’ve tried writing without doing this though, and I can’t.  I literally seize up and panic.  I have to have it planned out.  If it’s not planned out and I have an idea of how I want my story to go I write a note book outline and will type from there.  

I’d like to hear everyone else’s weird quirks while writing.  Maybe I’m not the only one with a set process that is most comfortable. ^_^  Sound off in the comments or share a link with your thoughts. ^_^

P.S. I never write without coffee, or vanilla coke.  Tea just isn’t strong enough. 

P.P.S.  Always double space after a period.  I don’t know the real reason but I do know when it comes to editing it makes it a lot easier to break down each sentence.


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