I 100% forgot to post this when I intended. Oops? Natalie and I had some technical difficulties that resulted in me getting her post at the last minute, but the late post is totally my fault, SO…today I have author Natalie Richards posting about her writing process! I’m excited to have her as I just finished her book Six Months Later. Read the post below and then check out her book!
My Writing Process
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I imagined what it would be like to be a writer. I had this whole dream of me plunking out masterpieces in the top room of a beautiful three story house. The floor would be wood. I would drink tea. The windows surrounding my desk would overlook the sea but all that natural sunlight would never give me a migraine or create a glare on my screen.
The sad truth is, my writing process is ugly. I jitter and have to move my laptop and walk around. I want to cross my legs and put my feet up and sometimes just lay down altogether. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to figure out how to type while reclining on my side. Sad, but true. My process requires access to snacks in between chapt—okay, fine, in between pages. Between paragraphs if it’s bad enough. And my old dreamy self can keep the stupid windows. I can’t stand a glare on my screen!
I know the writing process is about more than that. There are amazing writers out there that have beautiful descriptions of the steps they take and the wisdom behind their methods. They sound so totally together and I wish I was like that. My writing process is like herding cats. Cats cracked out on powerful hallucinogenic drugs. If it was a twelve step program (and maybe it should be) it would be like this.
1. Have a brain-flash (think daydream on speed) with a scene/character/idea that’s completely and totally insane. But a little awesome.
2. Call and tell five people (they know who they are) about said idea.
3. Begin obsessive questions involving idea. How did it start? Why would it happen? What in heaven’s name could happen next?
4. Have the Moment of Reckoning. There are three choices for me with every idea.
a. YES. Write it right now. Right this minute. Why are you still thinking about it?! Get to a keyboard!
b. Um, now that you’ve thought it through, this idea is horrible. Very bad. Terrible. Pretend you never thought of it. Move on.
c. Maybe. It still needs some stewing.
5. Once an idea is hatched and I decide to go, I start drafting. I’m a linear writer and I’m a planster. I sort of have a vague plan of where I’m going to end up, but I’m flying by the seat of my pants page to page and scene to scene.
6. Get the first part right and then MOTOR. I let myself edit that first 50 pages a bit until I feel like I know the characters and I have my bearings in the book. And then, I plow through my first draft with no mercy. Just. Get. To. The. End.
7. Oh, and then I edit.
8. And edit again.
9. At some point around here I decide I hate the book so much I want to divorce it. And maybe hit it. I start dreaming about new books. Younger books. Books with better hair.
10. Very soon after this, I have a moment of panic where I’m sure there is no way I will ever, ever fix the book. There are a few people I call during this dark hour. Pity them.
11. Resolve hits next. The book has a deadline and I’m tired of hearing myself whine. So, I force myself to look at it in the hairy eyeballs and sort it out.
12. I finish the final edits soon after this. There isn’t much sleep happening during this last stretch. But, alas it’s done.
Of course as I know now, it’s not really done. An editor will have it soon and I’ll have to start back at Step 7. As for my last writing process secret? Editors are WAY nicer to me than I am. 😉
Thank you so much for having me, I’m so super excited to be here!