Tuesday, 18 January 2011

What's Your Process? - Blogfest

Yay, What's Your Process is here!

And I have to say, my process varies a fair bit. Obviously I come up with the idea first. Usually it's a character, not a place or a scenario. For instance, with SQUEAKY MCLEAN, I was at work one day, and I made a mouse-like squeaking sound. So the character Squeaky McLean was born. And with SUNDOWN, I thought about my ideal man (as opposed to the apparent ideal man to many at the time, Edward Cullen) and came up with my beloved Jared. A kind-hearted, tall dark & not-quite-handsome rock star. Can't get much sexier than that. :D So yeah, it's usually a character I will come up with first. Not always their name, but their face and demeanour at least. And often, I will indeed see the situation they're in at that point too. But for Squeaky and Jared, it was just the face, and their role in life.

The rest of it goes from there.

But wait...this wasn't about "Where do you start?" it was "What's your process?"


1. Think of a character, and what they're about.
2. Think of a scenario that character would likely find themselves in.
3. Start writing.

I don't necessarily plan my stories out. I did that with NaNoWriMo 2010, and it certain helped me stay focused, but (and I'm not sure if this was coincidence or not) I also found the novel quite hard to finish. Once I got past 50k, I really slacked off and found it a bit of a chore to keep writing. I'm not saying this is because I planned it all out. But it may have some relevance.

I admit that with SUNDOWN and the other novels in that series, I had to do a bit of planning. Namely, a timeline. A very extensive timeline. And I've referred to it constantly throughout the writing/editing process. It's been essential. So I guess that counts as planning it all out, right? Then again, the timeline underwent serious changes here and there as I changed my mind about things. I even did an "alternative timeline if so and so hadn't died in book 2", so that the characters would be able to refer to where they would have been if not for the death.

So yeah...I guess that's my process.


  1. I haven't posted my process up yet. It's due to post in a few hours (If blogger scheduling works right). I like your version of the ideal man.

  2. I look forward to seeing your process :)

  3. Interesting to see how every writer varies. My first ms I just sat down and wrote... as a result it was very un-structured. Now I go for the structure technique. :)

    Nice to meet you!

  4. I guess there's also variation on how much structuring a person has to do. I mean, some people will plan their story down to the finest detail. But in my case the most I'm bound to have is major plot points around which I will write.

    Still end up with stuff I cut later, regardless ;)

    But yeah, I think I find it more freeing to not have a completely solid plan.

  5. I think it's funny how different the inspiration for different stories can be. It's part of what makes the question "where do you get your ideas from?" so frustrating for writers, methinks.

    "Tall, dark and not-quite-handsome" has got to be one of the best character descriptions ever. I've got one of those type characters myself, but honestly, yours sounds a bit hotter than mine. I think it's the "rock star" thing.

  6. I think that's interesting how you do an alternative timeline. I think that would open your mind a bit more to realize how the death affected the character by seeing how it wouldn't of affected them. :D

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Hi Trisha...I love your idea of thinking of the character first. That happened to me in my initial lot of stories. But, then came my contact with editors with publishing houses and they each wanted a detailed outline (a kind of book proposal).

    I envy you your writing process. I still feel I was better off as a pantser. :)

  9. Thanks for sharing! My characters often come first, too. I find my story when I find out who the people in it are!

  10. I change my mind a lot, too. Different stories start different for me. Sometimes the first line comes to me [usually in the shower - how odd], sometimes the character, sometimes a scene. Sometiems I have something specific I want to practice or try.

    Great meeting you! I pants the 1st draft usually.

  11. It sounds like you do a lot of structuring as you form your characters and develop your story. I like the way Squeaky Mclean was born!

    You have an interesting blog and excellent artwork! Good work!

  12. I have to have a general idea of my plot before I come up with my characters, so it looks like we're opposite on that aspect of writing;) I'm really enjoying all of the writing process posts - thanks for sharing yours!

  13. I come up with characters, setting, and plot at different times. Occasionally I'll think of one and another will come along with it.

  14. I think of a the setting and plot like you think of the character. Good thing for me is that the scene or plot comes along with the main character. I like your process though. I bet you have strong characters with great motivation! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Hi,

    Nice to meet you.

    So, you're a bit of plotter, bit of a pantser, and a chess player! Love it. ;)


  16. I am not surprised anyone starts their process by thinking of the character - they are the foundation the plot is draped upon. I do need to plan though - and research until the main plot points and my characters' personal development has been mapped out. Good luck with your writing. :)

  17. I've had several characters appear to me and I build the story around them. It's been really cool learning about everyone's process.

  18. Hey everybody, cheers for stopping by! I will definitely check out all your entries when I get the chance - I am leaving for Canada this evening so I've been a bit busy! :D But I'll see you on your blogs asap!

    I agree, it's interesting to see how different people get around to writing their stories :)

  19. I'm a week late, but catching up on this blogfest now after I finally put my own entry up =)

    For me stories start with characters too, definitely. Plot, setting, all of it important. But it's the characters that intrigue me most!

    *follows* :)


Thanks for your words, me hearties! and don't forget to leave a link to your blog somewhere I can find it!