Monday, September 14, 2015

Wonky writing post.

This is a totally wonky post, fair warning for those who are bored by the writing process.

So far I've been trying to improve my method of writing.

I've identified three phases.

1.) Choosing what to write about and preliminary planning.
2.) Writing a first draft.
3.) Re-writing, which may mean one or two more drafts.

1.)  On the first phase, I haven't really chosen what to write.  Nor do I do a lot of preliminary planning. I write whatever my subconscious tells me to write. When the words start flowing, I put up minimal resistance and just start writing.

I'd like to change that, but not too much. I still want to write what I want to write when I want to write it. But it might not hurt to try to think about what might be useful to suggest to my subconscious about what I should write next. I'm happy with the genre I've been writing in, which has been sold as horror, but is a range from dark fantasy to thriller.  So that would be one suggestion. Write something else, fantasy, or S.F. or detective, or whatever.

The other thing to think about is what subjects have some depth to them, lend themselves to deeper themes. So far, I've found just about any subject can be developed that way.

So really, the preliminary planning is more about what happens after my subconscious has taken off. That is, I go with it for as far as it goes, and then when the old subconscious starts to flag, which it usually does within 50 pages or so, that I take a moment about where it's going and how I can get there with enough interesting themes and complexity to deepen the material.

2.) Writing the original draft has been pretty smooth and enjoyable. This has been almost my sole concern for the last four years. Figuring how and when to write. I actually think I have a pretty good handle on this, with a few tweaks.

3.) Revising the book. This is where I've made the biggest changes lately.  I've made the decision that when I'm done, and I like the book, and it's been edited, that I sit down and do a complete rewrite from beginning to end. I've found that I improve the book, technically, even substantively.

At the cost, unfortunately, of removing some of my own enjoyment of the book. But if the book becomes more enjoyable to the reader, then it must be done.  These books, once done, are done with my name on them, and 'good enough' isn't good enough. Not that I was settling earlier.  I was always taking this extra step on every book so far published, but not intentionally but because I was dragged kicking and screaming into it.

So what I've been doing with the last couple of books is just putting the whole process into the schedule and figuring it will have to be done.  I'm actually coming to tolerate the process, if not wholeheartedly love it.

I'm taking a full week off from writing, which seems to be taking forever. Because I'm conscious of it every day. I'm diving in on the full rewrite of Blood of the Succubus on Wednesday, so the next couple of days are all about psyching myself up, storing up that creative energy, making myself eager to do it.

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