Writing Process

Bbookstackcoffee_2  Keira asks: “Would it be possible for you to blog about your writing processes and your daily schedules? <snip> A few days ago, I finished reading "Write Away" by Elizabeth George. She is a proponent of detailed outlines. In her book, she describes in great depth how her process works for her.”

From Pat Rice: When creativity is draining rapidly into the current Work in Process, a question about process is the best way to go.  Keira, start figuring which of my books you’d like to have for saving me from more brain drain!

Process, like most of life, is something that’s always in flux.  It’s best to “go with the flow” as we said in the seventies.  Fighting change stifles creativity, so what I call my process now has gradually mutated from my process when I first started out, and I’ll pray my process in the future will be a lot easier.Beach4 (Okay, so my flow is an ocean and not a river, you get the picture, right?)

Currently, I keep a file labeled simply “ideas.” All those weird questions that occur to me, usually beginning with “what if,” are typed into a document and labeled in my computer file.  My head is always occupied with characters, but they need situations to put them into action.  Often, one of these ideas will simmer in the back of my mind until characters start taking it over.  Other times, I’ll have a character demanding a story and nothing in the file works. Or is marketable. Image001ma143289260001

Either way, once the characters make themselves known, I start brainstorming what I can do with them.  Sometimes they’re a mere nugget in my mind when my fellow brainstormers are ready to hold a “cauldron.” (or a tomato, or a lettuce leaf, whatever. It’s all goes into the stew) By the time we leave our retreat, I’ll always have a pot of goals and motivations and a plot for the characters.  Other times, we can’t get together soon enough, and I play with brainstorming on my own.  This isn’t always easy and often takes weeks, sometimes months, but I simply sit down and start writing everything I know about my characters and the situation they’re in.  I’ll list what I think are their goals and motivations and conflicts.  They may change over time as I put the characters through their paces, and even when I have a full summary of what I think happens, things change as I write. Obviously, outlining won’t work for me!

Throughout the creative process, I’m researching.  With my current historical series, I have stacks of books on the era I’m writing about. Since my books will follow the path of history in sequence, I concentrate on the exact events that occur in the year my characters are living.  I’ll read biographies of people who affect these events.  Most of this research is fairly general, trying to get a rough grasp of the society and what might be involved as my story progresses, but the events gradually weave their way into the summary I’m creating.

Detailed research waits until I finally sit down and start writing.  I’ve learned there’s no point in researching all costumes in the year 1790 if my heroine is going to end up wearing sackcloth and ashes most of the time.  Or in the case of my historical fantasy, the hero wears the Greco/Roman/tropical garb that suits my made-up island.  So I have books on costume, and books on guns and ships to be consulted as needed, but not before.

The actual process of putting the story onto the page isn’t easily defined.  Since I don’t do detailed outlines, there’s a lot of trial and error in the beginning.  The first book in a series requires a lot more world building than the following books.  But the following books are forced to fit into the parameters created in the first.  All of this requires a lot of head banging. <G>  I’ll think I know a character, but once I start applying words to a page, unexpected things fall from my fingers.  My summary might say “Mariel has the ability to swim like a fish beneath the sea.”  But when I start writing her story, I have to start answering questions like, how does she breathe there? Does she prefer the sea to land? What would it be like to have this ability in an age and time when they still burn witches?  Would she go to church?  What holds her to her home when she has the ability to swim anywhere? That’s when the magic happens.

It’s the magic that keeps me writing. Writing is a lonely, frustrating job, but the moment a character takes over on the page, comes to life and starts thinking on his or her own, that magic is worth every minute of headbanging.  It’s no wonder we call our books our “children.”  The process is often much the same—inspiration, gestation, the agony of squeezing the story into the world, and the joy of watching it grow and develop a personality of its own.

There’s not a lot of room in this blog to go into more detailed explanation, and every writer is different, but this is my basic process.  If any of our readers have more specific questions, I’ll be happy to try to answer in comments, and if the answers are too long, we’ll add them to our master question list.  If we choose to blog from a question you ask, you’re entitled to a free Wenchy book. 

60 thoughts on “Writing Process”

  1. Patricia, thanks so much for posting on my question.
    “It’s no wonder we call our books our ‘children.'”
    Oh, yes! I’m fully in the labor process right now, and I miss the epidural.
    What do you do when you’re having a frustrating moment, such as a character refusing to do what you’d like her to do, or an unexpected twist in the plot that made you write yourself into a corner?
    “By the time we leave our retreat, I’ll always have a pot of goals and motivations and a plot for the characters.”
    What a great idea to do a brainstorm meeting! And a retreat means that you can’t run away when the going gets tough. You have to stay put and figure it out, with the help of friends, of course.

    Reply
  2. Patricia, thanks so much for posting on my question.
    “It’s no wonder we call our books our ‘children.'”
    Oh, yes! I’m fully in the labor process right now, and I miss the epidural.
    What do you do when you’re having a frustrating moment, such as a character refusing to do what you’d like her to do, or an unexpected twist in the plot that made you write yourself into a corner?
    “By the time we leave our retreat, I’ll always have a pot of goals and motivations and a plot for the characters.”
    What a great idea to do a brainstorm meeting! And a retreat means that you can’t run away when the going gets tough. You have to stay put and figure it out, with the help of friends, of course.

    Reply
  3. Patricia, thanks so much for posting on my question.
    “It’s no wonder we call our books our ‘children.'”
    Oh, yes! I’m fully in the labor process right now, and I miss the epidural.
    What do you do when you’re having a frustrating moment, such as a character refusing to do what you’d like her to do, or an unexpected twist in the plot that made you write yourself into a corner?
    “By the time we leave our retreat, I’ll always have a pot of goals and motivations and a plot for the characters.”
    What a great idea to do a brainstorm meeting! And a retreat means that you can’t run away when the going gets tough. You have to stay put and figure it out, with the help of friends, of course.

    Reply
  4. Patricia, thanks so much for posting on my question.
    “It’s no wonder we call our books our ‘children.'”
    Oh, yes! I’m fully in the labor process right now, and I miss the epidural.
    What do you do when you’re having a frustrating moment, such as a character refusing to do what you’d like her to do, or an unexpected twist in the plot that made you write yourself into a corner?
    “By the time we leave our retreat, I’ll always have a pot of goals and motivations and a plot for the characters.”
    What a great idea to do a brainstorm meeting! And a retreat means that you can’t run away when the going gets tough. You have to stay put and figure it out, with the help of friends, of course.

    Reply
  5. Patricia, I just read your newsletter and I’d like to thank you for telling me about this blog. Historical romance is my favorite. I enjoyed reading about your writing process. Especially the research part. Besides “Write Away” by Elizabeth George, what other “how-to” books have you read? Are there any you would highly recommend? Thanks.

    Reply
  6. Patricia, I just read your newsletter and I’d like to thank you for telling me about this blog. Historical romance is my favorite. I enjoyed reading about your writing process. Especially the research part. Besides “Write Away” by Elizabeth George, what other “how-to” books have you read? Are there any you would highly recommend? Thanks.

    Reply
  7. Patricia, I just read your newsletter and I’d like to thank you for telling me about this blog. Historical romance is my favorite. I enjoyed reading about your writing process. Especially the research part. Besides “Write Away” by Elizabeth George, what other “how-to” books have you read? Are there any you would highly recommend? Thanks.

    Reply
  8. Patricia, I just read your newsletter and I’d like to thank you for telling me about this blog. Historical romance is my favorite. I enjoyed reading about your writing process. Especially the research part. Besides “Write Away” by Elizabeth George, what other “how-to” books have you read? Are there any you would highly recommend? Thanks.

    Reply
  9. I love the “epidural” analogy. I’m writing the final chapters of the current WIP and I’m here to tell ya, an epidural is needed!
    Frustrating moments–that could be my entire life. “G” It depends on how desperate I am to finish working that day. At the beginning of a book I’m inclined to let the characters take off to see where they’ll go, which is why outlines don’t do it for me. I have a lot of fun wandering down new paths with them. But then comes the day when I have to force them back to the beaten path. That’s when I go back and re-read and pick up all the threads marking our way back and start tugging.
    I had to do that today. By the end of a book, I have dozens of frayed plot threads hanging around, and the characters have gone to bed and don’t care. “G” So I dutifully wrote what was needed to finish the design those threads were intended to complete. And the characters just lay there, glaring at me. So I wrote one of my brainstorm buddies and complained and she suggested an earthquake to shake them up. Since that would also shake the city of Chicago, that wasn’t a good plan. But then she came back and suggested paintball. She hadn’t seen my ms. She had no idea why the characters were lying down. Paintball was pretty much out of the question given their location. But I went back and looked at the scene, and lo and behold, one of the characters had a squirt gun. I’d given him one and forgotten about it.
    And suddenly, paintball seemed logical. My characters got up off the floor and paint and water flew!
    If you don’t have someone to bounce ideas off of, do it with yourself. Write yourself an email and see what appears while your fingers are going one way and your brain is off in left field.
    Kalen, you know perfectly well one has to be insane to survive in this business!
    Melissa, I’m thrilled you stopped by. Keira is the one who read the Elizabeth George. I don’t generally read “how-tos” because they mess with my mind. But I do keep Vogler’s WRITERS JOURNEY around to remind me of story structure, and Maass’s WRITING A BREAKOUT NOVEL just so I can see what I’m doing wrong and ignore it. “G”

    Reply
  10. I love the “epidural” analogy. I’m writing the final chapters of the current WIP and I’m here to tell ya, an epidural is needed!
    Frustrating moments–that could be my entire life. “G” It depends on how desperate I am to finish working that day. At the beginning of a book I’m inclined to let the characters take off to see where they’ll go, which is why outlines don’t do it for me. I have a lot of fun wandering down new paths with them. But then comes the day when I have to force them back to the beaten path. That’s when I go back and re-read and pick up all the threads marking our way back and start tugging.
    I had to do that today. By the end of a book, I have dozens of frayed plot threads hanging around, and the characters have gone to bed and don’t care. “G” So I dutifully wrote what was needed to finish the design those threads were intended to complete. And the characters just lay there, glaring at me. So I wrote one of my brainstorm buddies and complained and she suggested an earthquake to shake them up. Since that would also shake the city of Chicago, that wasn’t a good plan. But then she came back and suggested paintball. She hadn’t seen my ms. She had no idea why the characters were lying down. Paintball was pretty much out of the question given their location. But I went back and looked at the scene, and lo and behold, one of the characters had a squirt gun. I’d given him one and forgotten about it.
    And suddenly, paintball seemed logical. My characters got up off the floor and paint and water flew!
    If you don’t have someone to bounce ideas off of, do it with yourself. Write yourself an email and see what appears while your fingers are going one way and your brain is off in left field.
    Kalen, you know perfectly well one has to be insane to survive in this business!
    Melissa, I’m thrilled you stopped by. Keira is the one who read the Elizabeth George. I don’t generally read “how-tos” because they mess with my mind. But I do keep Vogler’s WRITERS JOURNEY around to remind me of story structure, and Maass’s WRITING A BREAKOUT NOVEL just so I can see what I’m doing wrong and ignore it. “G”

    Reply
  11. I love the “epidural” analogy. I’m writing the final chapters of the current WIP and I’m here to tell ya, an epidural is needed!
    Frustrating moments–that could be my entire life. “G” It depends on how desperate I am to finish working that day. At the beginning of a book I’m inclined to let the characters take off to see where they’ll go, which is why outlines don’t do it for me. I have a lot of fun wandering down new paths with them. But then comes the day when I have to force them back to the beaten path. That’s when I go back and re-read and pick up all the threads marking our way back and start tugging.
    I had to do that today. By the end of a book, I have dozens of frayed plot threads hanging around, and the characters have gone to bed and don’t care. “G” So I dutifully wrote what was needed to finish the design those threads were intended to complete. And the characters just lay there, glaring at me. So I wrote one of my brainstorm buddies and complained and she suggested an earthquake to shake them up. Since that would also shake the city of Chicago, that wasn’t a good plan. But then she came back and suggested paintball. She hadn’t seen my ms. She had no idea why the characters were lying down. Paintball was pretty much out of the question given their location. But I went back and looked at the scene, and lo and behold, one of the characters had a squirt gun. I’d given him one and forgotten about it.
    And suddenly, paintball seemed logical. My characters got up off the floor and paint and water flew!
    If you don’t have someone to bounce ideas off of, do it with yourself. Write yourself an email and see what appears while your fingers are going one way and your brain is off in left field.
    Kalen, you know perfectly well one has to be insane to survive in this business!
    Melissa, I’m thrilled you stopped by. Keira is the one who read the Elizabeth George. I don’t generally read “how-tos” because they mess with my mind. But I do keep Vogler’s WRITERS JOURNEY around to remind me of story structure, and Maass’s WRITING A BREAKOUT NOVEL just so I can see what I’m doing wrong and ignore it. “G”

    Reply
  12. I love the “epidural” analogy. I’m writing the final chapters of the current WIP and I’m here to tell ya, an epidural is needed!
    Frustrating moments–that could be my entire life. “G” It depends on how desperate I am to finish working that day. At the beginning of a book I’m inclined to let the characters take off to see where they’ll go, which is why outlines don’t do it for me. I have a lot of fun wandering down new paths with them. But then comes the day when I have to force them back to the beaten path. That’s when I go back and re-read and pick up all the threads marking our way back and start tugging.
    I had to do that today. By the end of a book, I have dozens of frayed plot threads hanging around, and the characters have gone to bed and don’t care. “G” So I dutifully wrote what was needed to finish the design those threads were intended to complete. And the characters just lay there, glaring at me. So I wrote one of my brainstorm buddies and complained and she suggested an earthquake to shake them up. Since that would also shake the city of Chicago, that wasn’t a good plan. But then she came back and suggested paintball. She hadn’t seen my ms. She had no idea why the characters were lying down. Paintball was pretty much out of the question given their location. But I went back and looked at the scene, and lo and behold, one of the characters had a squirt gun. I’d given him one and forgotten about it.
    And suddenly, paintball seemed logical. My characters got up off the floor and paint and water flew!
    If you don’t have someone to bounce ideas off of, do it with yourself. Write yourself an email and see what appears while your fingers are going one way and your brain is off in left field.
    Kalen, you know perfectly well one has to be insane to survive in this business!
    Melissa, I’m thrilled you stopped by. Keira is the one who read the Elizabeth George. I don’t generally read “how-tos” because they mess with my mind. But I do keep Vogler’s WRITERS JOURNEY around to remind me of story structure, and Maass’s WRITING A BREAKOUT NOVEL just so I can see what I’m doing wrong and ignore it. “G”

    Reply
  13. I laughed and laughed when I read that your characters glared at you from where they were lying down and basically, having a tantrum. Distraction always works with children. And you certainly got them going with paintball.

    Reply
  14. I laughed and laughed when I read that your characters glared at you from where they were lying down and basically, having a tantrum. Distraction always works with children. And you certainly got them going with paintball.

    Reply
  15. I laughed and laughed when I read that your characters glared at you from where they were lying down and basically, having a tantrum. Distraction always works with children. And you certainly got them going with paintball.

    Reply
  16. I laughed and laughed when I read that your characters glared at you from where they were lying down and basically, having a tantrum. Distraction always works with children. And you certainly got them going with paintball.

    Reply
  17. Funny post, Pat! Entertaining *and* informative. I love reading how other writers deal with writing. I usually come away with a revelation or something useful for myself. Thanks for sharing a little of your own way of dealing with writing!
    And I have to say something about the Wenchlings! You guys are awesome! I read your comments just as eagerly as I read the daily Wench posts!

    Reply
  18. Funny post, Pat! Entertaining *and* informative. I love reading how other writers deal with writing. I usually come away with a revelation or something useful for myself. Thanks for sharing a little of your own way of dealing with writing!
    And I have to say something about the Wenchlings! You guys are awesome! I read your comments just as eagerly as I read the daily Wench posts!

    Reply
  19. Funny post, Pat! Entertaining *and* informative. I love reading how other writers deal with writing. I usually come away with a revelation or something useful for myself. Thanks for sharing a little of your own way of dealing with writing!
    And I have to say something about the Wenchlings! You guys are awesome! I read your comments just as eagerly as I read the daily Wench posts!

    Reply
  20. Funny post, Pat! Entertaining *and* informative. I love reading how other writers deal with writing. I usually come away with a revelation or something useful for myself. Thanks for sharing a little of your own way of dealing with writing!
    And I have to say something about the Wenchlings! You guys are awesome! I read your comments just as eagerly as I read the daily Wench posts!

    Reply
  21. Pat,
    Thank you for such an interesting post! I’m not a writer myself (except for sermons, lol) but as a reader I can tell you that what happens when you and the other wenches write is indeed “magical” to me. I am in awe of all of you and knowing how your process works–and how hard you all work at it–just makes me admire you, and appreciate the “magical” results, even more.
    I went to a reading by a friend from college who is now a Big Name Playwright and she said (if I’m remembering accurately) that her characters are almost like a physical presence to her when she is writing and that they stand and whisper in her left ear.
    How lucky all of you writers (wenches and wenchlings) are to be able to combine the Mystical with the Practical in a job that you love–and that makes a difference by bringing beauty and pleasure to the world.
    Melinda

    Reply
  22. Pat,
    Thank you for such an interesting post! I’m not a writer myself (except for sermons, lol) but as a reader I can tell you that what happens when you and the other wenches write is indeed “magical” to me. I am in awe of all of you and knowing how your process works–and how hard you all work at it–just makes me admire you, and appreciate the “magical” results, even more.
    I went to a reading by a friend from college who is now a Big Name Playwright and she said (if I’m remembering accurately) that her characters are almost like a physical presence to her when she is writing and that they stand and whisper in her left ear.
    How lucky all of you writers (wenches and wenchlings) are to be able to combine the Mystical with the Practical in a job that you love–and that makes a difference by bringing beauty and pleasure to the world.
    Melinda

    Reply
  23. Pat,
    Thank you for such an interesting post! I’m not a writer myself (except for sermons, lol) but as a reader I can tell you that what happens when you and the other wenches write is indeed “magical” to me. I am in awe of all of you and knowing how your process works–and how hard you all work at it–just makes me admire you, and appreciate the “magical” results, even more.
    I went to a reading by a friend from college who is now a Big Name Playwright and she said (if I’m remembering accurately) that her characters are almost like a physical presence to her when she is writing and that they stand and whisper in her left ear.
    How lucky all of you writers (wenches and wenchlings) are to be able to combine the Mystical with the Practical in a job that you love–and that makes a difference by bringing beauty and pleasure to the world.
    Melinda

    Reply
  24. Pat,
    Thank you for such an interesting post! I’m not a writer myself (except for sermons, lol) but as a reader I can tell you that what happens when you and the other wenches write is indeed “magical” to me. I am in awe of all of you and knowing how your process works–and how hard you all work at it–just makes me admire you, and appreciate the “magical” results, even more.
    I went to a reading by a friend from college who is now a Big Name Playwright and she said (if I’m remembering accurately) that her characters are almost like a physical presence to her when she is writing and that they stand and whisper in her left ear.
    How lucky all of you writers (wenches and wenchlings) are to be able to combine the Mystical with the Practical in a job that you love–and that makes a difference by bringing beauty and pleasure to the world.
    Melinda

    Reply
  25. PS Pat, have you all blogged on character names and how you choose them? (my lamentable memory). You and Loretta both have heroines named Leila (my younger daughter’s name) and I bet all of you wenches have heroines (or villains) named Sophia (my older daughter’s name). I’d love to know whether your characters spring fully-named and formed from your brows or whether that’s a head-banging task too!

    Reply
  26. PS Pat, have you all blogged on character names and how you choose them? (my lamentable memory). You and Loretta both have heroines named Leila (my younger daughter’s name) and I bet all of you wenches have heroines (or villains) named Sophia (my older daughter’s name). I’d love to know whether your characters spring fully-named and formed from your brows or whether that’s a head-banging task too!

    Reply
  27. PS Pat, have you all blogged on character names and how you choose them? (my lamentable memory). You and Loretta both have heroines named Leila (my younger daughter’s name) and I bet all of you wenches have heroines (or villains) named Sophia (my older daughter’s name). I’d love to know whether your characters spring fully-named and formed from your brows or whether that’s a head-banging task too!

    Reply
  28. PS Pat, have you all blogged on character names and how you choose them? (my lamentable memory). You and Loretta both have heroines named Leila (my younger daughter’s name) and I bet all of you wenches have heroines (or villains) named Sophia (my older daughter’s name). I’d love to know whether your characters spring fully-named and formed from your brows or whether that’s a head-banging task too!

    Reply
  29. I agree with your friend, the characters–for me–are almost a physical presence. They have their moods just like everyone else!
    I don’t think we’ve blogged on names. That’s a tough one. Occasionally I might have a character who roars “I’m Cap’n Jack” out of the darkness, but I have an extremely bad memory for names. So even if he roared it, I might forget it. “G” Or it might already be taken. Characters really don’t know what’s best for them sometimes (like children!). I have tons of name books and I often go online to name sites tracking down ones that relate to an historical era, a country, a class, or just the right meaning I’m after for a character.

    Reply
  30. I agree with your friend, the characters–for me–are almost a physical presence. They have their moods just like everyone else!
    I don’t think we’ve blogged on names. That’s a tough one. Occasionally I might have a character who roars “I’m Cap’n Jack” out of the darkness, but I have an extremely bad memory for names. So even if he roared it, I might forget it. “G” Or it might already be taken. Characters really don’t know what’s best for them sometimes (like children!). I have tons of name books and I often go online to name sites tracking down ones that relate to an historical era, a country, a class, or just the right meaning I’m after for a character.

    Reply
  31. I agree with your friend, the characters–for me–are almost a physical presence. They have their moods just like everyone else!
    I don’t think we’ve blogged on names. That’s a tough one. Occasionally I might have a character who roars “I’m Cap’n Jack” out of the darkness, but I have an extremely bad memory for names. So even if he roared it, I might forget it. “G” Or it might already be taken. Characters really don’t know what’s best for them sometimes (like children!). I have tons of name books and I often go online to name sites tracking down ones that relate to an historical era, a country, a class, or just the right meaning I’m after for a character.

    Reply
  32. I agree with your friend, the characters–for me–are almost a physical presence. They have their moods just like everyone else!
    I don’t think we’ve blogged on names. That’s a tough one. Occasionally I might have a character who roars “I’m Cap’n Jack” out of the darkness, but I have an extremely bad memory for names. So even if he roared it, I might forget it. “G” Or it might already be taken. Characters really don’t know what’s best for them sometimes (like children!). I have tons of name books and I often go online to name sites tracking down ones that relate to an historical era, a country, a class, or just the right meaning I’m after for a character.

    Reply
  33. I think I just came up with a question for you guys (think I’m actually stealing from someone on a list or discussion way back, but that’s okay LOL) what do you guys do when you start a book and finish one (guess that’s party for a while or something) 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  34. I think I just came up with a question for you guys (think I’m actually stealing from someone on a list or discussion way back, but that’s okay LOL) what do you guys do when you start a book and finish one (guess that’s party for a while or something) 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  35. I think I just came up with a question for you guys (think I’m actually stealing from someone on a list or discussion way back, but that’s okay LOL) what do you guys do when you start a book and finish one (guess that’s party for a while or something) 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  36. I think I just came up with a question for you guys (think I’m actually stealing from someone on a list or discussion way back, but that’s okay LOL) what do you guys do when you start a book and finish one (guess that’s party for a while or something) 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  37. I think it’s really spooky and cool that you planted your own “amunition” (squirt gun) to shoot yourself out of your fix! This has happened to me on a number of occasions, where something I just threw in pops up later in the story to save the day. Ah, the mystery and magic of writing!

    Reply
  38. I think it’s really spooky and cool that you planted your own “amunition” (squirt gun) to shoot yourself out of your fix! This has happened to me on a number of occasions, where something I just threw in pops up later in the story to save the day. Ah, the mystery and magic of writing!

    Reply
  39. I think it’s really spooky and cool that you planted your own “amunition” (squirt gun) to shoot yourself out of your fix! This has happened to me on a number of occasions, where something I just threw in pops up later in the story to save the day. Ah, the mystery and magic of writing!

    Reply
  40. I think it’s really spooky and cool that you planted your own “amunition” (squirt gun) to shoot yourself out of your fix! This has happened to me on a number of occasions, where something I just threw in pops up later in the story to save the day. Ah, the mystery and magic of writing!

    Reply
  41. I have a question about book titles. How successful are you in naming your own books, or must you submit to editors’ titles? Is it a group consensus thing? Have you ever had a title assigned to you that you absolutely hated? And since you Wenches are so prolific, can you remember all your titles? *g*

    Reply
  42. I have a question about book titles. How successful are you in naming your own books, or must you submit to editors’ titles? Is it a group consensus thing? Have you ever had a title assigned to you that you absolutely hated? And since you Wenches are so prolific, can you remember all your titles? *g*

    Reply
  43. I have a question about book titles. How successful are you in naming your own books, or must you submit to editors’ titles? Is it a group consensus thing? Have you ever had a title assigned to you that you absolutely hated? And since you Wenches are so prolific, can you remember all your titles? *g*

    Reply
  44. I have a question about book titles. How successful are you in naming your own books, or must you submit to editors’ titles? Is it a group consensus thing? Have you ever had a title assigned to you that you absolutely hated? And since you Wenches are so prolific, can you remember all your titles? *g*

    Reply
  45. Hi Pat!
    Thank you for sharing your writing process. I feel less ‘weird’ now. No matter how hard I’ve tried (and oh I have tried) outlines don’t work for me. I just don’t think that way.
    Keira… a littlest wenchling thought on what to do with characters that won’t do what you want them to. I had/have one of those. I wanted her to kiss one of my characters and I took great pains to set this up. But when the time came, she flatly refused. So, a dear friend of mine (who also posts here) came to my rescue. She told me to ask my character why. I did. She informed and I listened. Then I rewrote the scene and the guy didn’t get his kiss. But the story was stronger for it. Bottom line… try asking.
    As for brainstorming… this really works for me. My experience is that brainstorming partners come and go according to the writing phase that I’m (and they’re) in. But, I always keep one or two close at hand. And I learn alot by doing the same for them. It’s fun.
    Nina, so glad to be part of the WW community

    Reply
  46. Hi Pat!
    Thank you for sharing your writing process. I feel less ‘weird’ now. No matter how hard I’ve tried (and oh I have tried) outlines don’t work for me. I just don’t think that way.
    Keira… a littlest wenchling thought on what to do with characters that won’t do what you want them to. I had/have one of those. I wanted her to kiss one of my characters and I took great pains to set this up. But when the time came, she flatly refused. So, a dear friend of mine (who also posts here) came to my rescue. She told me to ask my character why. I did. She informed and I listened. Then I rewrote the scene and the guy didn’t get his kiss. But the story was stronger for it. Bottom line… try asking.
    As for brainstorming… this really works for me. My experience is that brainstorming partners come and go according to the writing phase that I’m (and they’re) in. But, I always keep one or two close at hand. And I learn alot by doing the same for them. It’s fun.
    Nina, so glad to be part of the WW community

    Reply
  47. Hi Pat!
    Thank you for sharing your writing process. I feel less ‘weird’ now. No matter how hard I’ve tried (and oh I have tried) outlines don’t work for me. I just don’t think that way.
    Keira… a littlest wenchling thought on what to do with characters that won’t do what you want them to. I had/have one of those. I wanted her to kiss one of my characters and I took great pains to set this up. But when the time came, she flatly refused. So, a dear friend of mine (who also posts here) came to my rescue. She told me to ask my character why. I did. She informed and I listened. Then I rewrote the scene and the guy didn’t get his kiss. But the story was stronger for it. Bottom line… try asking.
    As for brainstorming… this really works for me. My experience is that brainstorming partners come and go according to the writing phase that I’m (and they’re) in. But, I always keep one or two close at hand. And I learn alot by doing the same for them. It’s fun.
    Nina, so glad to be part of the WW community

    Reply
  48. Hi Pat!
    Thank you for sharing your writing process. I feel less ‘weird’ now. No matter how hard I’ve tried (and oh I have tried) outlines don’t work for me. I just don’t think that way.
    Keira… a littlest wenchling thought on what to do with characters that won’t do what you want them to. I had/have one of those. I wanted her to kiss one of my characters and I took great pains to set this up. But when the time came, she flatly refused. So, a dear friend of mine (who also posts here) came to my rescue. She told me to ask my character why. I did. She informed and I listened. Then I rewrote the scene and the guy didn’t get his kiss. But the story was stronger for it. Bottom line… try asking.
    As for brainstorming… this really works for me. My experience is that brainstorming partners come and go according to the writing phase that I’m (and they’re) in. But, I always keep one or two close at hand. And I learn alot by doing the same for them. It’s fun.
    Nina, so glad to be part of the WW community

    Reply
  49. Ah, Lois, your question is too easy for a blog! Mostly, we do nothing. Sorry. “G” I might collapse and clean my office for a day once I send in a manuscript, but I usually have a copyedit, a revision, or galleys to work on for another book, or another proposal I need to start on. Even scheduling vacations gets to be entertaining sometimes. And when a book comes out, it just means more work promoting it with signings and speeches and interviews and whatnot–which are not as glamorous as they might sound! See S/S’s post today.
    Now titles, that could take us a while! Excellent question. Consider it added to our list, thank you.

    Reply
  50. Ah, Lois, your question is too easy for a blog! Mostly, we do nothing. Sorry. “G” I might collapse and clean my office for a day once I send in a manuscript, but I usually have a copyedit, a revision, or galleys to work on for another book, or another proposal I need to start on. Even scheduling vacations gets to be entertaining sometimes. And when a book comes out, it just means more work promoting it with signings and speeches and interviews and whatnot–which are not as glamorous as they might sound! See S/S’s post today.
    Now titles, that could take us a while! Excellent question. Consider it added to our list, thank you.

    Reply
  51. Ah, Lois, your question is too easy for a blog! Mostly, we do nothing. Sorry. “G” I might collapse and clean my office for a day once I send in a manuscript, but I usually have a copyedit, a revision, or galleys to work on for another book, or another proposal I need to start on. Even scheduling vacations gets to be entertaining sometimes. And when a book comes out, it just means more work promoting it with signings and speeches and interviews and whatnot–which are not as glamorous as they might sound! See S/S’s post today.
    Now titles, that could take us a while! Excellent question. Consider it added to our list, thank you.

    Reply
  52. Ah, Lois, your question is too easy for a blog! Mostly, we do nothing. Sorry. “G” I might collapse and clean my office for a day once I send in a manuscript, but I usually have a copyedit, a revision, or galleys to work on for another book, or another proposal I need to start on. Even scheduling vacations gets to be entertaining sometimes. And when a book comes out, it just means more work promoting it with signings and speeches and interviews and whatnot–which are not as glamorous as they might sound! See S/S’s post today.
    Now titles, that could take us a while! Excellent question. Consider it added to our list, thank you.

    Reply

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