Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My Way

Last week I finished the first draft of my category romance.  Hooray!  According to Stephen King's On Writing he advises to stash away the draft for six weeks, not to touch one word, a comma or anything else.  Since he's Stephen King, I'm following his advice and letting my mental batteries recharge.  Before I waited at least a couple of weeks but during that time, I  tweaked a scene or added one.  I never gave my eye to freshen for my work.  Not anymore, I'm a convert and it's wonderful.

My TBR pile is shrinking from a shaking beanstalk to a manageable size that won't collapse on top of me.  I'm catching up on my favorite TV shows I recorded.  It's like rediscovering the outside world.  The greatest part is feeling the surge of writing energy building.  For me, this humming starts beneath my muscles and in the depths of my core and spreads to the tips of my toes and fingers.  Slowly, this force builds until it vibrates through me. My skin tingles from it and never lets me rest.  My mind comes alive with scenes, characters, dialogue, and anything and everything to do with my new work.  It percolates until a moment when I have to sit down at my computer and let the energy transform into a novel.

Right now, the hum shakes through me.  Even as I'm writing this, my leg is jiggling from the restless power.  I'm still at the beginning stages where my characters are starting to form and breathe in life.  The story is thickening and soon I'll write it.

Once that's finished, I'll pull out my waiting work.  I'll blow of the figurative dust and bring out my pens and start my revisions while another work slumbers and the mind is refreshing and the eye is new so that draft can be tweaked, rewritten, polished and everything else. I like always having something to work on. My way propels me forward like a rolling stone and never lets my writing collect moss.

That's my process.  It works for me but I'm always searching for new ways that might improve it.  What's your process?  Do you have any advice to share?


Lee said...

I'm with you, when I'm done, I put my work to bed for a long nap. If I don't I'll tweak it right out of my own voice..I think Stephen King had the right idea...Give it a rest for a short while after writing those two beautiful words in a writers world, THE END.


Lu said...

Yes, giving the first draft a rest is great. Unless you have a deadline, self-imposed or external, which forces you to start the revisions immediately. Which speaks to the importance of having a schedule, and sticking to it - something I still struggle with.

Jill James said...

Sometimes I have time to let a finished manuscript rest, sometimes I don't. I try to fit in at least a week or two.

morgan wyatt said...

I envy the ability to see one thing through at a time. I do agree that waiting to look at your work gives you perspective. Sometimes it is almost as if I am reading someone else's work since it has been so long since I've seen it.

BTW, great blog.

Mona Risk said...

I usually edit my WIP as I write, that is every day I start by editing what I wrote the night before. I notice it keeps the story flowing. Unless an editor specifically requests revision, I rarely revise a story when I am finished but I edit non-stop until I start the next book.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I think you are so right taking time out. I find that every now and then I need to walk away, sew a quilt or do something completely different. Once you are refreshed it is amazing how quickly you can get settled in and write like the wind.

Good luck with your next project.

Nicola McKenna said...

I must admit I find it difficult to stop rewriting most of the time - I'll keep going until by my third or fourth rewrite, I'm tired of tweaking and making changes. My sanity demands I put it to one side.

Maybe I too should follow Mr. King's advice Majeela, it sounds like its working great for you! It will require a firm decisive hand for me to put that ms to one side, but I'll give it a go.

For smaller snippets of work, my current daily practise is to write first drafts in the morning, and, in the evening, perform edits on yesterday morning's FD. It's only a break of 30-odd hours, but it is a huge help. Weird as it sounds, in the evenings I imagine I'm some hot shot editor who takes no prisoners and insists on pushing my morning writer further to see she can come up with something fresher, more natural than before.

If anyone did the FTH 'Rule of Six' workshop with Shirley Jump back in December, you'll remember the kind of creativity she taught us. I guess that is what I'm trying to get my evening editor to employ. Can you see the method in my madness?

Great post Majeela, thanks a lot.

Joanne said...

Wise words from Stephen King. I read his book a while back, but don't remember picking up that tidbit of wisdom. Thanks for a helpful post.