Writing!

If this is Wodensday, it must be Jo. (You knew that was the origin of Wednesday, I assume. After Woden, supreme deity in the Germanic/Scandinavian tradition.)

The roots of blogging seem to be people talking about their day — logging it, as a ship’s captain logged everything that went on, day by day. The trouble with talking a lot about my writing days is that it would involve spoilers for my readers. Some wouldn’t mind, but some would. I would.

But I can meander on about the meandering creation process of my books, as I’ll be off to meander a bit more as soon as I’ve posted this.

I am the banner-bearer for the no-pre-plotting approach to fiction writing. This is not, I assure you, a choice. I would love to plot out my books in detail before beginning to write. A clean-cut canal right to the sea. Please! But any attempt to do that has always petered out in a bog somewhere. My creative mind doesn’t work that way.

Instead, I have to, as I put it, fly into the mist. Yup, mixed metaphors is me. Or let the mighty river find its path. I have to sit down and write whatever crazy beginning moment that’s popped into my mind — or been lobbed like a grenade by my laughing-hysterically muse. I put characters together and write down what they do and say. I do, I confess, toss in grenades of my own. Scar her. Make his a social outcast. Have him betrothed to someone else. Addict him to opium.

Okay, I addicted Dare Debenham to opium about 6 books ago for my own plot convenience. But before that, I’d killed him at Waterloo, simply because I reckoned someone important to the Rogues had to die at Waterloo. And then I’d felt sure he couldn’t be dead, but as I wasn’t going to use a cheap trick like amnesia, I was stuck for years until I realized that the villainess from the first book had found him and was using him for her many devious purposes. But that did leave him addicted to heavy doses of opium.

Which actually makes a pretty good story, IMO. (To Rescue A Rogue, Out in September, folks!)

The MIP (manuscript, monster, mess-in progress) came in part from a scene — a gentleman being unpleasant to a lady in a quiet part of the house during a ball — and I’m figuring out what’s behind it. I quickly realized that a large part grow from Lord Darien hating the Rogues. He was at school with them, and Dare (Lord Darius Debenham. Yup, I know it’s bad to have two such similar names, but Darien insisted so I’m making a point of it) screwed up his life, in his opinion, without even seeming to notice.

I really liked the idea that this group of heroes, who I have portrayed as noble, insofar as schoolboys can ever be noble, were villains to this outsider. There’s a story in that somewhere.

So I’ll end here, with a post as meandering as the river of my creative mind. Isn’t that sort of from a Simon and Garfunkle song? And get back to drifting down the waters on my ramshackle raft, looking for rapids to steer through.

Cheers!

Jo

48 thoughts on “Writing!”

  1. From Sherrie:
    Jo, THANK YOU for saying you are a “fly into the mist” writer! Balm to my troubled soul. It gives me hope whenever I hear a big time writer say this.
    I fly by the seat of my pants when I write (which is probably why I have a shiny butt). The least little thing will set me off, send me flying to the computer to write while inspiration is hot.
    Starting a book is so easy for me, because the ideas come fast and fierce. Until I’m about halfway through the book. That’s when I come up for air, look around and blink, and realize I need to *have* a middle before I can roar to the finish. Middles are my bugaboo.
    Sherrie Holmes
    http://www.holmesedit.com

    Reply
  2. From Sherrie:
    Jo, THANK YOU for saying you are a “fly into the mist” writer! Balm to my troubled soul. It gives me hope whenever I hear a big time writer say this.
    I fly by the seat of my pants when I write (which is probably why I have a shiny butt). The least little thing will set me off, send me flying to the computer to write while inspiration is hot.
    Starting a book is so easy for me, because the ideas come fast and fierce. Until I’m about halfway through the book. That’s when I come up for air, look around and blink, and realize I need to *have* a middle before I can roar to the finish. Middles are my bugaboo.
    Sherrie Holmes
    http://www.holmesedit.com

    Reply
  3. From Sherrie:
    Jo, THANK YOU for saying you are a “fly into the mist” writer! Balm to my troubled soul. It gives me hope whenever I hear a big time writer say this.
    I fly by the seat of my pants when I write (which is probably why I have a shiny butt). The least little thing will set me off, send me flying to the computer to write while inspiration is hot.
    Starting a book is so easy for me, because the ideas come fast and fierce. Until I’m about halfway through the book. That’s when I come up for air, look around and blink, and realize I need to *have* a middle before I can roar to the finish. Middles are my bugaboo.
    Sherrie Holmes
    http://www.holmesedit.com

    Reply
  4. Both books sound great to me! And to pile on more “sucking up”, I’ll add that your talk on flying into the mist from some national conference (I bought the tape and don’t remember the year) was one of the best talks on flying into the mist I ever heard.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  5. Both books sound great to me! And to pile on more “sucking up”, I’ll add that your talk on flying into the mist from some national conference (I bought the tape and don’t remember the year) was one of the best talks on flying into the mist I ever heard.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  6. Both books sound great to me! And to pile on more “sucking up”, I’ll add that your talk on flying into the mist from some national conference (I bought the tape and don’t remember the year) was one of the best talks on flying into the mist I ever heard.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  7. Count me in the Mist Club, too. I usually know the opening scene and the closing scene, and maybe one or two middle scenes, but I have NO IDEA what the road from A to F to M to Z is going to look like when I sit down to write.
    I’m amazed by the plotters I know (if I wrote a 40-90 page outline/synopsis I’d have NO desire to write the book).

    Reply
  8. Count me in the Mist Club, too. I usually know the opening scene and the closing scene, and maybe one or two middle scenes, but I have NO IDEA what the road from A to F to M to Z is going to look like when I sit down to write.
    I’m amazed by the plotters I know (if I wrote a 40-90 page outline/synopsis I’d have NO desire to write the book).

    Reply
  9. Count me in the Mist Club, too. I usually know the opening scene and the closing scene, and maybe one or two middle scenes, but I have NO IDEA what the road from A to F to M to Z is going to look like when I sit down to write.
    I’m amazed by the plotters I know (if I wrote a 40-90 page outline/synopsis I’d have NO desire to write the book).

    Reply
  10. Sherrie & Jo,
    I started writing because of this phenomenon I call: “This character just popped into my head.”
    I find I need a plot outline though to stay within GMC, otherwise one of my characters could get pretty shallow and spend all HER time on fashion. Note that my female characters have little to change about themselves ;o)>
    I usually write the first 100 pages without a plot outline or anything resembling a synopsis. I have to do this or the storytelling feels forced, I don’t know the characters well enough and cannot write a working synopsis or outline. Once I’ve started my story, which starts like Sherrie described, I can figure out the plot–the characters tell me and their versions of the story is always much more interesting than mine!
    Cathy

    Reply
  11. Sherrie & Jo,
    I started writing because of this phenomenon I call: “This character just popped into my head.”
    I find I need a plot outline though to stay within GMC, otherwise one of my characters could get pretty shallow and spend all HER time on fashion. Note that my female characters have little to change about themselves ;o)>
    I usually write the first 100 pages without a plot outline or anything resembling a synopsis. I have to do this or the storytelling feels forced, I don’t know the characters well enough and cannot write a working synopsis or outline. Once I’ve started my story, which starts like Sherrie described, I can figure out the plot–the characters tell me and their versions of the story is always much more interesting than mine!
    Cathy

    Reply
  12. Sherrie & Jo,
    I started writing because of this phenomenon I call: “This character just popped into my head.”
    I find I need a plot outline though to stay within GMC, otherwise one of my characters could get pretty shallow and spend all HER time on fashion. Note that my female characters have little to change about themselves ;o)>
    I usually write the first 100 pages without a plot outline or anything resembling a synopsis. I have to do this or the storytelling feels forced, I don’t know the characters well enough and cannot write a working synopsis or outline. Once I’ve started my story, which starts like Sherrie described, I can figure out the plot–the characters tell me and their versions of the story is always much more interesting than mine!
    Cathy

    Reply
  13. I love discussions of the different writing processes we all have. Some outline. Some fly into the mist. Some do a combination of the two. Some write from beginning to end. Some write scenes out of order.
    The thing is, I think our processes are almost hard-wired into us. Jo can’t write an outline, and I can’t fly into the mist. Neither of us can change, and we shouldn’t try, IMO. Every writer has to do what works for her.
    I have at times experimented with a bit of seat-of-the-pants writing, just because it seems a Real Writer should be able to do that. But it never works for me. I can’t get far without an outline. Sometimes about a third of the way in, I realize the outline isn’t working. Then I have to stop and write a new one. I’m a total mess without that structure to guide me. I would *love* to be able to fly into the mist, but it just ain’t me, babe.

    Reply
  14. I love discussions of the different writing processes we all have. Some outline. Some fly into the mist. Some do a combination of the two. Some write from beginning to end. Some write scenes out of order.
    The thing is, I think our processes are almost hard-wired into us. Jo can’t write an outline, and I can’t fly into the mist. Neither of us can change, and we shouldn’t try, IMO. Every writer has to do what works for her.
    I have at times experimented with a bit of seat-of-the-pants writing, just because it seems a Real Writer should be able to do that. But it never works for me. I can’t get far without an outline. Sometimes about a third of the way in, I realize the outline isn’t working. Then I have to stop and write a new one. I’m a total mess without that structure to guide me. I would *love* to be able to fly into the mist, but it just ain’t me, babe.

    Reply
  15. I love discussions of the different writing processes we all have. Some outline. Some fly into the mist. Some do a combination of the two. Some write from beginning to end. Some write scenes out of order.
    The thing is, I think our processes are almost hard-wired into us. Jo can’t write an outline, and I can’t fly into the mist. Neither of us can change, and we shouldn’t try, IMO. Every writer has to do what works for her.
    I have at times experimented with a bit of seat-of-the-pants writing, just because it seems a Real Writer should be able to do that. But it never works for me. I can’t get far without an outline. Sometimes about a third of the way in, I realize the outline isn’t working. Then I have to stop and write a new one. I’m a total mess without that structure to guide me. I would *love* to be able to fly into the mist, but it just ain’t me, babe.

    Reply
  16. from Susan/sarah:
    Jo, I heard your wonderful fly into the mist talk years ago, and it stuck with me. Great material well presented, and reassuring to so many of us who generally choose seat-of-the-pants over outline.
    I’ll start with a structure out of dutiful intent (and a Virgo rising which fusses at me to be more organized), and soon I fling it out the window anyway (which pleases my Libra sun no end ).
    There’s always, always a point in the story where I find myself standing on the precipice staring into the heart of the fog. The rest of the story is on the other side of the abyss, and I have to find the courage to jump. If I’m lucky, there are wings…if I fall on my face, this is where I need to dive back into the first half of the story and find out what caused the stumble.
    Really that’s the part I love best, that leap of faith into the mist. Some of the best writing can be found in that state, I think.

    Reply
  17. from Susan/sarah:
    Jo, I heard your wonderful fly into the mist talk years ago, and it stuck with me. Great material well presented, and reassuring to so many of us who generally choose seat-of-the-pants over outline.
    I’ll start with a structure out of dutiful intent (and a Virgo rising which fusses at me to be more organized), and soon I fling it out the window anyway (which pleases my Libra sun no end ).
    There’s always, always a point in the story where I find myself standing on the precipice staring into the heart of the fog. The rest of the story is on the other side of the abyss, and I have to find the courage to jump. If I’m lucky, there are wings…if I fall on my face, this is where I need to dive back into the first half of the story and find out what caused the stumble.
    Really that’s the part I love best, that leap of faith into the mist. Some of the best writing can be found in that state, I think.

    Reply
  18. from Susan/sarah:
    Jo, I heard your wonderful fly into the mist talk years ago, and it stuck with me. Great material well presented, and reassuring to so many of us who generally choose seat-of-the-pants over outline.
    I’ll start with a structure out of dutiful intent (and a Virgo rising which fusses at me to be more organized), and soon I fling it out the window anyway (which pleases my Libra sun no end ).
    There’s always, always a point in the story where I find myself standing on the precipice staring into the heart of the fog. The rest of the story is on the other side of the abyss, and I have to find the courage to jump. If I’m lucky, there are wings…if I fall on my face, this is where I need to dive back into the first half of the story and find out what caused the stumble.
    Really that’s the part I love best, that leap of faith into the mist. Some of the best writing can be found in that state, I think.

    Reply
  19. Jo and other free-flyers among us, do you find that your kind of intuitive writing leads you into writing material that you end up cutting away in later stages of your writing process?
    I admit that the very word “outline” paralyzes my mind, but I am also bothered that my prunings are sometimes stacked deeper than the plant itself. This pattern holds true for me whether I am writing a poem, a critical essay, or fiction. I am trying my hand at fiction for the first time in decades, so I am hungry for advice.

    Reply
  20. Jo and other free-flyers among us, do you find that your kind of intuitive writing leads you into writing material that you end up cutting away in later stages of your writing process?
    I admit that the very word “outline” paralyzes my mind, but I am also bothered that my prunings are sometimes stacked deeper than the plant itself. This pattern holds true for me whether I am writing a poem, a critical essay, or fiction. I am trying my hand at fiction for the first time in decades, so I am hungry for advice.

    Reply
  21. Jo and other free-flyers among us, do you find that your kind of intuitive writing leads you into writing material that you end up cutting away in later stages of your writing process?
    I admit that the very word “outline” paralyzes my mind, but I am also bothered that my prunings are sometimes stacked deeper than the plant itself. This pattern holds true for me whether I am writing a poem, a critical essay, or fiction. I am trying my hand at fiction for the first time in decades, so I am hungry for advice.

    Reply
  22. Candice’s ears were burning . . . every time I hear her talk about her detailed plot work my jaw drops (and I’ll admit to a bubble of envy; I’m a lover of maps and I like to know where I’m headed most of the time).
    I tried so hard to do this with my WIP (which seemed to need it as it’s a kidnapping story) and about 100 pages in the book just died. I tossed out the outline and dumped about 3 chapters and now it feels like it’s alive again. Now I’m curious to see how the hero rescues the child and saves the day, cause I have no freaken idea.

    Reply
  23. Candice’s ears were burning . . . every time I hear her talk about her detailed plot work my jaw drops (and I’ll admit to a bubble of envy; I’m a lover of maps and I like to know where I’m headed most of the time).
    I tried so hard to do this with my WIP (which seemed to need it as it’s a kidnapping story) and about 100 pages in the book just died. I tossed out the outline and dumped about 3 chapters and now it feels like it’s alive again. Now I’m curious to see how the hero rescues the child and saves the day, cause I have no freaken idea.

    Reply
  24. Candice’s ears were burning . . . every time I hear her talk about her detailed plot work my jaw drops (and I’ll admit to a bubble of envy; I’m a lover of maps and I like to know where I’m headed most of the time).
    I tried so hard to do this with my WIP (which seemed to need it as it’s a kidnapping story) and about 100 pages in the book just died. I tossed out the outline and dumped about 3 chapters and now it feels like it’s alive again. Now I’m curious to see how the hero rescues the child and saves the day, cause I have no freaken idea.

    Reply
  25. “[D]o you find that your kind of intuitive writing leads you into writing material that you end up cutting away in later stages of your writing process?”
    You say that like this is a bad thing, lol! In my world stuff gets cut, expanded, altered beyond all recognition, it even gets radically moved (the opening scene of the book I just sold used to be a throwaway towards the end). This is part of the process. It’s organic. It’s not like most of us have an option. The creative process simply works how it works for each writer.
    And even if you don’t write this way, it’s a rare book that doesn’t get rewrites from the agent and editor (esp. for us newbies). So being wedded to an idea that you’re wasting your time writing stuff that might get cut later could really tie you up in knots later.
    I usually write the opening chapter at least four times (I think my record is eight). And then sometimes it gets cut when I’m done with the book, cause I realize I was writing that scene for me, so I’d know the characters. It’s not anything the reader needs to see.
    A professor of mine used to recommend that we all look very closely at out openings and closings, and he was right. Most of the poems could stand to lose their first and last stanzas. Most short stories their first and last paragraph to their first and last page. And most novels their whole first chapter and frequently a large part of their last one.
    The writer was getting warmed up and then easing out. The reader doesn’t need this.

    Reply
  26. “[D]o you find that your kind of intuitive writing leads you into writing material that you end up cutting away in later stages of your writing process?”
    You say that like this is a bad thing, lol! In my world stuff gets cut, expanded, altered beyond all recognition, it even gets radically moved (the opening scene of the book I just sold used to be a throwaway towards the end). This is part of the process. It’s organic. It’s not like most of us have an option. The creative process simply works how it works for each writer.
    And even if you don’t write this way, it’s a rare book that doesn’t get rewrites from the agent and editor (esp. for us newbies). So being wedded to an idea that you’re wasting your time writing stuff that might get cut later could really tie you up in knots later.
    I usually write the opening chapter at least four times (I think my record is eight). And then sometimes it gets cut when I’m done with the book, cause I realize I was writing that scene for me, so I’d know the characters. It’s not anything the reader needs to see.
    A professor of mine used to recommend that we all look very closely at out openings and closings, and he was right. Most of the poems could stand to lose their first and last stanzas. Most short stories their first and last paragraph to their first and last page. And most novels their whole first chapter and frequently a large part of their last one.
    The writer was getting warmed up and then easing out. The reader doesn’t need this.

    Reply
  27. “[D]o you find that your kind of intuitive writing leads you into writing material that you end up cutting away in later stages of your writing process?”
    You say that like this is a bad thing, lol! In my world stuff gets cut, expanded, altered beyond all recognition, it even gets radically moved (the opening scene of the book I just sold used to be a throwaway towards the end). This is part of the process. It’s organic. It’s not like most of us have an option. The creative process simply works how it works for each writer.
    And even if you don’t write this way, it’s a rare book that doesn’t get rewrites from the agent and editor (esp. for us newbies). So being wedded to an idea that you’re wasting your time writing stuff that might get cut later could really tie you up in knots later.
    I usually write the opening chapter at least four times (I think my record is eight). And then sometimes it gets cut when I’m done with the book, cause I realize I was writing that scene for me, so I’d know the characters. It’s not anything the reader needs to see.
    A professor of mine used to recommend that we all look very closely at out openings and closings, and he was right. Most of the poems could stand to lose their first and last stanzas. Most short stories their first and last paragraph to their first and last page. And most novels their whole first chapter and frequently a large part of their last one.
    The writer was getting warmed up and then easing out. The reader doesn’t need this.

    Reply
  28. Michelle said: “Jo and other free-flyers among us, do you find that your kind of intuitive writing leads you into writing material that you end up cutting away in later stages of your writing process?
    I admit that the very word “outline” paralyzes my mind, but I am also bothered that my prunings are sometimes stacked deeper than the plant itself. This pattern holds true for me whether I am writing a poem, a critical essay, or fiction. I am trying my hand at fiction for the first time in decades, so I am hungry for advice.”
    I don’t have any comfort to offer, Michess. I probably write 300,000 words for every 100,000 word novel I get published. That’s why my rate isn’t much faster than a book a year. It’s also why I’d love to be able to pre-plot, but it’s not the route to the magic for me. I’ve learned to accept it and be grateful there’s any magic there at all. 🙂
    For example, I just discovered that my hero’s motivation was not at all what I thought in one scene, which means I have to tweak the whole scene and rewrite parts because it’s now profoundly different. It also means I have to rewrite the next scene, which is where I discovered his true motivation for the previous scene. I may well have to toss the latter scene entirely because even though it revealed a truth, it then did not itself ring true.
    And if that sounds like an Escher world, welcome to the club!
    If anyone doesn’t know what I’m talking about, check out this picture.
    http://www.punkycorner.it/arte/escher/12.jpg
    Look at it carefully,
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  29. Michelle said: “Jo and other free-flyers among us, do you find that your kind of intuitive writing leads you into writing material that you end up cutting away in later stages of your writing process?
    I admit that the very word “outline” paralyzes my mind, but I am also bothered that my prunings are sometimes stacked deeper than the plant itself. This pattern holds true for me whether I am writing a poem, a critical essay, or fiction. I am trying my hand at fiction for the first time in decades, so I am hungry for advice.”
    I don’t have any comfort to offer, Michess. I probably write 300,000 words for every 100,000 word novel I get published. That’s why my rate isn’t much faster than a book a year. It’s also why I’d love to be able to pre-plot, but it’s not the route to the magic for me. I’ve learned to accept it and be grateful there’s any magic there at all. 🙂
    For example, I just discovered that my hero’s motivation was not at all what I thought in one scene, which means I have to tweak the whole scene and rewrite parts because it’s now profoundly different. It also means I have to rewrite the next scene, which is where I discovered his true motivation for the previous scene. I may well have to toss the latter scene entirely because even though it revealed a truth, it then did not itself ring true.
    And if that sounds like an Escher world, welcome to the club!
    If anyone doesn’t know what I’m talking about, check out this picture.
    http://www.punkycorner.it/arte/escher/12.jpg
    Look at it carefully,
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  30. Michelle said: “Jo and other free-flyers among us, do you find that your kind of intuitive writing leads you into writing material that you end up cutting away in later stages of your writing process?
    I admit that the very word “outline” paralyzes my mind, but I am also bothered that my prunings are sometimes stacked deeper than the plant itself. This pattern holds true for me whether I am writing a poem, a critical essay, or fiction. I am trying my hand at fiction for the first time in decades, so I am hungry for advice.”
    I don’t have any comfort to offer, Michess. I probably write 300,000 words for every 100,000 word novel I get published. That’s why my rate isn’t much faster than a book a year. It’s also why I’d love to be able to pre-plot, but it’s not the route to the magic for me. I’ve learned to accept it and be grateful there’s any magic there at all. 🙂
    For example, I just discovered that my hero’s motivation was not at all what I thought in one scene, which means I have to tweak the whole scene and rewrite parts because it’s now profoundly different. It also means I have to rewrite the next scene, which is where I discovered his true motivation for the previous scene. I may well have to toss the latter scene entirely because even though it revealed a truth, it then did not itself ring true.
    And if that sounds like an Escher world, welcome to the club!
    If anyone doesn’t know what I’m talking about, check out this picture.
    http://www.punkycorner.it/arte/escher/12.jpg
    Look at it carefully,
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  31. Jo, you’re wonderful! I’m a “fly into the mist” writer too. At the mere thought of an outline, my muse gets up and leaves the room. It is so comforting to know I am one of many. Thank you!
    I have a question to our Word Wenches. What do you do to keep yourself “in the moment of a book/chapter/scene when life keeps yanking you out? For me, something a simple as a potty break can yank me so far out of a scene I have to re-read the chapter just to “get in the mood” again. So, what do you do to “stay in the moment” when life interrupts?

    Reply
  32. Jo, you’re wonderful! I’m a “fly into the mist” writer too. At the mere thought of an outline, my muse gets up and leaves the room. It is so comforting to know I am one of many. Thank you!
    I have a question to our Word Wenches. What do you do to keep yourself “in the moment of a book/chapter/scene when life keeps yanking you out? For me, something a simple as a potty break can yank me so far out of a scene I have to re-read the chapter just to “get in the mood” again. So, what do you do to “stay in the moment” when life interrupts?

    Reply
  33. Jo, you’re wonderful! I’m a “fly into the mist” writer too. At the mere thought of an outline, my muse gets up and leaves the room. It is so comforting to know I am one of many. Thank you!
    I have a question to our Word Wenches. What do you do to keep yourself “in the moment of a book/chapter/scene when life keeps yanking you out? For me, something a simple as a potty break can yank me so far out of a scene I have to re-read the chapter just to “get in the mood” again. So, what do you do to “stay in the moment” when life interrupts?

    Reply
  34. From Jo.
    Re interruptions, of course the best thing is to avoid them as much as possible. During simply breaks I can usually keep the brain humming in the groove, but if a distraction involves talking to someone and/or thinking about something else entirely, it’s a problem.
    Then I read back a little to get into it again.
    Being in that zone is the most important thing, IMO,
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  35. From Jo.
    Re interruptions, of course the best thing is to avoid them as much as possible. During simply breaks I can usually keep the brain humming in the groove, but if a distraction involves talking to someone and/or thinking about something else entirely, it’s a problem.
    Then I read back a little to get into it again.
    Being in that zone is the most important thing, IMO,
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  36. From Jo.
    Re interruptions, of course the best thing is to avoid them as much as possible. During simply breaks I can usually keep the brain humming in the groove, but if a distraction involves talking to someone and/or thinking about something else entirely, it’s a problem.
    Then I read back a little to get into it again.
    Being in that zone is the most important thing, IMO,
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  37. From Pat:
    Process discussions are always fascinating. I used to do the total leap of faith thing and just start writing when a scene arrived in my head. I can still do this with no qualms whatsoever. I love the feeling of free flying.
    However, I’m trying to produce two books a year these days, and each one has to be better than the next, and my Muse starts getting crabby after a while. All that pruning and trimming and composting of precious words is quite painful.
    So I’ve learned a modified free fall. I try to know the characters as much as possible before I start so I don’t do so much of that setup running in circles stuff. I make sure I have a good grasp of conflicts and goals, and I try to come up with emotional turning points. Don’t always know what will happen (read SMALL TOWN GIRL, my latest contemp for the dump truck/donut truck scene–flew out of the mist), but I know what the result of the scene must be.
    My Muse still sniffs crabbily and my rewrites are extensive, but I don’t do quite as much navel-gazing these days!
    Pat

    Reply
  38. From Pat:
    Process discussions are always fascinating. I used to do the total leap of faith thing and just start writing when a scene arrived in my head. I can still do this with no qualms whatsoever. I love the feeling of free flying.
    However, I’m trying to produce two books a year these days, and each one has to be better than the next, and my Muse starts getting crabby after a while. All that pruning and trimming and composting of precious words is quite painful.
    So I’ve learned a modified free fall. I try to know the characters as much as possible before I start so I don’t do so much of that setup running in circles stuff. I make sure I have a good grasp of conflicts and goals, and I try to come up with emotional turning points. Don’t always know what will happen (read SMALL TOWN GIRL, my latest contemp for the dump truck/donut truck scene–flew out of the mist), but I know what the result of the scene must be.
    My Muse still sniffs crabbily and my rewrites are extensive, but I don’t do quite as much navel-gazing these days!
    Pat

    Reply
  39. From Pat:
    Process discussions are always fascinating. I used to do the total leap of faith thing and just start writing when a scene arrived in my head. I can still do this with no qualms whatsoever. I love the feeling of free flying.
    However, I’m trying to produce two books a year these days, and each one has to be better than the next, and my Muse starts getting crabby after a while. All that pruning and trimming and composting of precious words is quite painful.
    So I’ve learned a modified free fall. I try to know the characters as much as possible before I start so I don’t do so much of that setup running in circles stuff. I make sure I have a good grasp of conflicts and goals, and I try to come up with emotional turning points. Don’t always know what will happen (read SMALL TOWN GIRL, my latest contemp for the dump truck/donut truck scene–flew out of the mist), but I know what the result of the scene must be.
    My Muse still sniffs crabbily and my rewrites are extensive, but I don’t do quite as much navel-gazing these days!
    Pat

    Reply
  40. tal sez:
    If you people don’t stop talking about “mist,” the Tigress is going to come along (as she does when I do it) and remind you of what it means in German….

    Reply
  41. tal sez:
    If you people don’t stop talking about “mist,” the Tigress is going to come along (as she does when I do it) and remind you of what it means in German….

    Reply
  42. tal sez:
    If you people don’t stop talking about “mist,” the Tigress is going to come along (as she does when I do it) and remind you of what it means in German….

    Reply

Leave a Comment