Monday, December 10, 2012

A time for everything ...

My writing process is this: I write a first draft of a book in about 2-3 months. Then I set it aside for a few months while I start a new book. Then I'll come back to it and do editing. I look for repetitive words, throwaway words ("and" "then" "up" "down"), I look at sentence length and paragraph size and what I call Mechanics.

Then I read the book. I mean, I actually read it. After a month or two I've totally forgotten it, so it's like reading a new story with fresh eyes. I read it and work out inconsistencies, plot gaps, and weak points. Once that edit is over, I ship it off to my beta reader for her review.

I haven't felt very creative lately. In fact, I've been sort of at loose ends. I've had to spend a lot of energy on Legal Nonsense, and it sapped my creative side. But I finally got a break, and I sat down at the keyboard ... and realized I don't have a book in progress. I have a few I could start. I have another story I could work on. But I don't have that One Focus Book right now.

What an odd feeling. The first time in maybe 6 years I didn't have a focus. What to do?

I did Mechanics. I dragged out that book I had finished back in the late summer and I started on mechanics. And you know what? That action got me back into the flow of writing.

So don't gripe about the grunt-work of writing. Sometimes it's JUST what the doctor ordered!


Ana Morgan said...

Great advice, Dr. J L, though it is hard for me to imagine you not having siz WIP's at all times.

Angela Kay Austin said...

It is odd when I don't have something to work on. Most often, an idea hits me while I'm working on another story, and I jot down thoughts while I'm working on the original piece.

Good advice!

Josie said...

I understand exactly what you are saying, JL. Thanks for sharing.