Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A mess of a process

This seems to be my writing process:

1. Cool Idea.

2. Write a novel around Cool Idea.

3. Get feedback. Discover novel is an illogical mess.

4. Beat illogical mess into somewhat more coherent story that bears faint resemblance to Cool Idea.

5. Question entire premise.

6. Rediscover Cool Idea.

7. Watch all logic problems magically disappear in light of Cool Idea.

8. Revise and complete novel.

Now if I could only figure out how to condense these eight steps into numbers 1 and 8 alone, this whole process would be much more efficient, and I would be much more sane. But of course, the good news is that my subconscious is a lot smarter than I ever give it credit for being. It deserves some trust.

In summary, yes, I'm still working on Project Demo. It's beginning to look startlingly similar to my original vision. I'm very excited. After all, it was a pretty Cool Idea in the first place.

What does your creative process (writing or otherwise!) look like?

14 comments:

  1. Why condense what seems a successful process? Why not embrace it?
    It may be unwieldy, but it's real bread making, with all the kneading and rising and punch-it-down-so-it-rises-again. I never bought one of those bread-machines...

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    1. Funny you should mention bread machines... i had one once upon a time, but it broke, and then I moved to England. And I've found that I don't mind making bread by hand again at all. I process so many things as I'm processing that dough. And it really doesn't take THAT much time. Anyway... what we're we talking about again?! ;) Ah yes, you were giving me good, reassuring advice! I AM going to work on embracing it, I love that thought.

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  2. Hah! I think I'd take your process over mine (at least, mine lately :-P).
    Get great idea.
    Take care of indisposed child.
    Think about great idea.
    Take care of indisposed child.
    Plot great idea in my head.
    Take care of indisposed child.
    etc. etc. etc.
    LOL

    So glad about the developments with Project Demo - it's awesome when the revisions and changes capture the essence of the original idea and make it more of what it was meant to be in the first place.

    Elisabeth

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    1. One of these days she'll be healthy and well. Right? Hopefully?! Poor both of you!

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  3. The only right way to write a book is the way that works for you, no? Okay, it's frustrating sometimes. (Okay, a lot of the time?) Still, you do get from #1 to #8, and that's all that matters.

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    1. Well, HOPEFULLY I get from 1 to 8, and don't end up with a few more detours! ;) But yes, you're absolutely right. If only I could convince myself to believe in the process and be patient with myself... but thus is life, I suppose.

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  4. Isn't it amazing how sometimes you come back to the original premise.

    My writing process is all over the place. But it's usually: 1. Get stuck with a story problem. 2. Go into denial and eat chocolate. 3. Accept that you have to rewrite. Ha, ha.

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    1. I've returned to the original premise for my past two books, Karen, and yes, it has never ceased to amaze me! And good to bring up denial and chocolate--I have lots of those stages, too! ;)

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  5. Only 8 steps in the process? Things make sense at Step 7? {struggles with envy, loses struggle...}

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    1. Well, those are the 8 general steps... there's a lot of paranoia, detours, and train wrecks in between, I promise!

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  6. I'm at the "bang head against a wall because Cool Idea is starting to seem stupid." But I'm sure I'll get over that at some point. :-)

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    1. Ugh! That doesn't sound good at all! Good luck with it!

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  7. Sounds a lot like my process, but I've never written it out like that. I like seeing them numbered and printed out. Makes it hard to forget that number 8 is actually achievable.

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    1. It all looks so orderly and systemic this way, doesn't it?! Much more so than the actual process! It was fun to think it through, and hopefully it gives me a bit of an insight, too.

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