Juggling all the aspects of my life with some baking, writing and good old fashioned ranting thrown in

Sunday, 24 June 2012

The Writing Process

From extensive reading on the subject, everyone seems to have their own method when it comes to writing. Some people plan out every aspect of a novel before even considering an opening line. Others jump straight into their first draft.

Having only written fairly short stories during my teenage years, I hadn't really worked out a method when I first started on my current novel. I settled for writing a synopsis of the plot at first. But as I began to write, I realised that I often forget what colour eyes a character has or old they're supposed to be. So I have now also written character descriptions for all of my main characters. I am hoping that this will limit continuity errors. 

For a few settings, I have been able to find photographs on the internet, immensely helpful when writing physical descriptions and trying to imagine how a place might make a character feel. But, obviously, some places are complete fabrications of my imagination so I have also written notes on physical features of certain settings, such as the main character's home. 

I have made the perhaps silly decision to write in first person, present tense. So often, when I check back through my writing, I find that I have accidentally used past tense instead. Hopefully these little mistakes will become rarer as I write more. 

Every time I open the file to start writing, I read back over what I have already to try and get back into the correct mindset. However, while doing that, I find things that don't sound quite right or that could be improved. I end up doing at least ten minutes of editing before I even start anything new. I have no idea if this is normal. I hope that doing my creative writing course later this year will give me better insight into editing techniques. For now, I shall continue this way. 

I also have the problem of getting a little distracted from writing. For instance, this very post is being written when I had meant to be working on the novel. Email and Twitter are other common distractions when I get even slightly stuck. I have no solution to this. Instead, I give in. It does mean that when I get around to actually writing, my mind is a little clearer. 

I would be interested to hear how other writers overcome these problems or plan out their work. 

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