Hello! I have some exciting news to share! I haven’t been posting as much as I would like because I’ve been consumed by writing two projects in two genres. I’m pretty jazzed about both. The first is a Young Adult novel called WINGING IT. I’m pleased to announce this piece was recently named a finalist in two Romance writers Association Chapter contests. For those who enjoy my humorous contemporary romances, do not fear…I am working on a new contemporary series, AND Mia’s story from the Brothers of Audubon Springs series. I haven’t forgotten about her. Part of my enthusiasm right now for the writing is a sense that I have FINALLY locked in to my process as a writer. What does this mean?
The Writing Process
Every writer has their own unique process. Over the course of time, I have taken several online writing courses in addition to attending multiple workshops. Every instructor will say…this is what I do, this works for me…it might not work for you. So I absorbed, wrote, learned, absorbed, wrote, learned. Certain things resonated with me from the very start. GMC, of course, a necessity, and I was attracted to The Hero’s Journey from the get go. These two things have always been components of my process, but I was really writing with the Hero’s Journey in mind along with my GMC, but not enough other tools in my writing arsenal to really feel productive.
So, here’s my process. It’s important to note these components have all been in my “kit” for the past 2-3 years, but how I’m using them has changed.
- GMC – See Debra Dixon’s Goal, Motivation, Conflict.
- Character / Story Development:
- Six Stage Plot Structure (remember when I blogged obsessively on this?)
- Book In A Week: Online course developed by April Kihlstrom
- Six Stage Plot Structure: WOUND, ESSENCE, IDENTITY
- Rules of Six: Online course by Shirley Jump
Why is this an Ah-Ha moment? I discovered after laying the groundwork, I need to write about the first 3rd of the book and then go back to the beginning and do a deeper dive into the character development, specifically focusing on the main characters WOUND, ESSENCE and IDENTITY from the Six Stage Plot Structure. Also at this time, I go back to the beginning and hold myself accountable to the Rules of Six work for every scene through to the end. In a nutshell, the idea is six goals and motivations for the POV character in every scene. It forces you to dive deeper into your characters and story. It is really cool work. If you ever see this workshop offered online…TAKE IT!
The Change in a Nutshell
I had been doing this mid writing at the end of writing a first draft. Now by stopping at that 3rd way mark to add this second layer, when I move past this point, I continue to hold myself accountable to the entire kit until I type THE END. This naturally adds the deeper POV work into the first draft. Although, technically, at this point the first 100 pages are really more a 2nd draft.
The end result? I’m writing faster and stronger (insert Bionic Man joke here) with the prospect of being able to produce a lot of material in short period of time, almost like…gasp…a REAL writer!
If you are a writer, how has your process changed over the years? What is the one thing in your writer’s toolkit you absolutely could not live without?
Sounds very smart, RA! I am constantly revising my own process as well. Truth be told some of the tools you use make me want to weep. Wah! I just don’t get it! But that’s what makes us unique. I’ve learned a LOT recently from Rachel Aaron though—her process I get! : ) Can’t wait to read your better, faster, stronger new work! Congrats!
Hi JB – I think I’m employing Rachel Aaron’s process as well. We all take what we need and throw out the rest. 🙂
Good tips RoseAnn! I finished the first third of my WIP and find myself going back to firm up my hero’s main conflict. Congrats on your YA contest final!
So happy for your successes! Just ordered The Right Chord!!!
Thank you! Hope you enjoy!
I’m not a writer but find it really interesting to see how writers work!
Hi Kiki, I was a reader long before I was a writer. I found it all interesting as well…and then the rest is history. Never say never! 🙂
I have to write my first draft in longhand with a gel pen in a top spiral notebook with good stiff covers. It feels like flying.
God Bless you, Cynthia! Longhand is my worst nightmare! I do like to jot notes down by longhand, but I can’t write a manuscript that way. I’d say there is quite a bit of beauty in what you do, however. Longhand means you have a TRUE first draft in the making. Hard to go back and revise when you’re working in longhand. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂