Nov 18, 2015

The Process

It's November, which means I'm writing a novel. Which makes Write or Die's blog prompt perfect this week. They asked: What is your writing process?


Honestly, I hadn't given it much thought. My writing process is a little bit of a mess. I'm not as self-driven as I'd like to be. I'm probably somewhere in the middle, like I'm not totally unmotivated, but I'm also not so disciplined as to write at the same time every day. I wish.

I find that I write best when someone is holding me accountable, ergo NaNoWriMo.  Everyday, I have to update that little word counter and every day it shows me with a little bar graph where my word count is and where it should be.  I do not like to see my bar fall below the line.  If only there were more bar graphs in life.

I also know that I work best in small increments of time. I'd say about 88% of my novel is written in word sprints.  I set little word count goals for each increment of time and I try to attain those goals. This week, my goal was 1k in 30 minutes. I did it no problem. So now, my goal is 1,500 in 30 minutes. Whether or not I reach that goal, I've written a good chunk of a scene. And another one bites the dust.

As for atmosphere, that's where I'm a little inconsistent right now. I have an office, which is also a nursery-in-the-making. The chair doesn't roll on the carpet. My laptop doesn't fit on my desk. The lighting just isn't quite right. All the chi is thrown off. I've tried more coffee shops in El Paso than I've ever thought possible. I haven't found the sweet spot just yet, but it's not like I exactly have the time right now to renovate.

And tunes. I'm one of those weirdos who can't write without tunes. Right now, it's anything circa 1940-1948. The Andrews Sisters, Dinah Shore, Louis Armstrong, Doris Day, you get the gist. That should give you some idea of what I'm working on. In fact, the entire setting of the novel was inspired by 40's Junction on SiriusXM. How weird is that?

And lastly, the writing itself. If I've noticed anything about my process in these last three years, it's that I have little Jessica'isms. Little metaphors, phrases and sayings that just want to pop up in every book I write, no matter how different they all are.  That and first drafts are for story-purging as I call it. There are no poetic prose or deep literary metaphors at this stage.  The writing is pretty stale at this point, and characters are a wee bit flat, but all of that will be ironed out later.  This month is for those foundation 50k that will be dressed up Cinderella-style come January to March.

So, that is my process. Basically.



Now, revision process. That is another topic for another day.

Link up for Write or Die Wednesday here!


4 comments:

Mia @ The Chronicles of Chaos said...

I like what you said about your Jessica-isms being in everything you write. I find that to be true for me as well! Thanks so much for sharing your process with us! :)

V. Nino said...

Jessica, I totally admire your stick-to-itiveness :).

I should maybe try the sprint approach cause sometimes I feel overwhelmed by wanting to complete a piece in one sitting, which ultimately makes me shut down.

Thanks for linking up with us again! You've been missed :)

-Shelly
www.shellyscabaret.com

Andrea H. said...

I love learning more about your process. It is fascinated to me to read about the strategy and dedication involved in writing novels. Thanks for sharing!

Karen Baker said...

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