Tag: creative process

creative process

Writing is editing. Right?

 Writing is about editing. We all know that. However, that doesn’t answer the question when to edit. There are a few basic options. Write a draft straight through, perhaps making notes on things to be changed, but use a one directional process. Don’t second guess yourself. Write a good chunk of the manuscript and then revise. This level of revision may involve deleting parts, adding parts, re-ordering scenes, and, of course, fiddling with words. Revise each page as you go. Perfect the page then move on.  Pros and cons can be argued for each process. Write straight through and you risk going far down a path you later eliminate entirely. On the other hand, no time was lost in detailed revisions prior to scrapping entire sections. If you revise section by section too much time can be put into the earlier sections and less into the end. Sometimes it shows! Aim for perfection and prevent yourself from moving on. What happens when those perfect sentences end up not belonging in the manuscript at all?   I suspect that authors evolve. For example, the more experience you gain the more confidence you might have in a story arc (and therefore revise each page […]

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The Creative Process

A couple weeks ago, I was on a panel of authors at my alma mater discussing The Creative Process. At first, I wasn’t sure the panelists would have anything in common. One was a screenwriter, another an expert in Russian literature, another had a bestseller about Steve Jobs and yet another wrote American literature. And then there was me: the thriller writer. But, it turned out that our creative process all involved research and a degree of musing about the world–although we did it in different ways. I am pretty sure I was the only panelist that regularly uses excel spreadsheets to plot out the action in my story, the character arcs, and play-by-plays of integral scenes before I start writing.  So, I asked my fellow MissDemeanors. What is an integral part of your creative process. Here’s what they said: “I love brainstorming. In fact, part of why I’ve enjoyed nanowrimo so much the last few years is because it feels like a month of br ainstorming. I write down notes about characters, themes, words they might like, scenes that might be good. I don’t edit myself. Then, when I’ve filled an entire notebook, which usually takes about a month, I have enough material […]

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