This year marks the 2nd Annual Writing Process blog tour. I will be chatting each week for the next eight weeks with a different author as they discuss their writing process. Enjoy. Up this week to kick things off…
I’m one of those authors who love to get input from editors. This usually shapes my writing process and how I write. In 2012 I started off writing my first novel by the seat of my pants, but once I understood what editors required of me. My process became more focused. Professional.
That’s one thing you have to decide for yourself, is writing going to be a hobby for you or are you going to take it seriously? Make it a career? Because that will definitely change the way you go about your writing process.
Not only will you allocate the right amount of time to finish your work. But you’ll hone in on a process that works for you.
My process might not work for everyone, but I hope it will inspire some to add structure to their planning. So, here are the steps:
- I need three things to start a story; a premise, a handle on the characters and a solid idea of the dark moment, or more specifically where the story is going. This might not come in the order stated here. Characters can come first or the dark moment, then the premise. It doesn’t matter, though without these three things, I can write myself into a hole and not be able to get out of it. Remember these things can change as you write your novel. I’m currently on the 2nd daft of a paranormal romance and realized I need to increase the romantic conflict of the characters. This shifted the theme of the novel slightly, but still remained true to the premise of the story.
- Now I outline everything. This usually consist of a Word document with bullet points and short paragraphs, outlining characters, setting, the premise, dark moment and where I want the story to go. And if I’m so inclined at the time, how it will end. (Remember to ask the big questions during this time in your process: Where? When (holiday/spring/summer/fall)? Single or series? What are each character’s goals (internal and external)? What motivates my characters? What are their names?)
- Then I write a short synopsis, usually 2 to 3 pages. Focusing on the turning points in the story such as what do they want, what will stand in their way and in the end do they get what they originally wanted? Or do they find that they already had what was important? Or do they find something else that fulfills them?
- Then I write the 1st three Chapters of the novel. This is when the story solidifies for me. When I get a good handle on the world of the story and characters.
- At this point I decide, do I want to write out a 5 page synopsis, adding more detail, or do I want to go on from the 1st three Chapters and complete the story. Then write out the synopsis. With my current manuscript I had a completed synopsis but still veered off from it. With The Wolf’s Choice, the synopsis was literally the blue print for the book. So feel it out. What makes the writing process so interesting for me is that though there’s a level of structure, it’s not rigid.
- I do research as I write and as I edit.
This is just for the 1st draft. I don’t stress about the 1st draft so much anymore, because I know the process of writing a story really comes alive in the 2nd or 3rd or 4th drafts. Don’t get bogged down by the above, what I consider to be the first phase of the writing process, it’s not the end result. The end is having a submission ready book.
All the best with your writing journey and thank you Tracee for having me again.
Thank YOU Inge for joining us!
A Little More About Inge
Inge fell in love with books when she started reading romance novels with her grandmother. Intrigued by the worlds books unlocked, it was inevitable she would take pen to paper. When she’s not writing about that ‘inexplicable attraction’ she’s reading almost every sub-genre in romance out there, spending time with friends and family and taking hikes in her hometown’s National Karoo Park. She forms part of Romance writers’ Organization of South Africa (ROSA) and currently has three books out with Decadent Publishing; Falling for Mr. Unexpected, Dance of Love and a paranormal romance, The Wolf’s Choice.
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