Your Creative Process

How do you write a novel or short story?  Depending on where you went to school, what you read, or who you ask: there are at least six different ways to do this.  The bottom line is…with or without a plan, based on what you know about the genre and your own style.


Some people will choose to write in a genre without knowing as much about it as they could.  I do this more often than I admit, just to walk around in somebody else’s shoes.  None of it ever sees the light of day, all of it is given a burial in some undisclosed location–but–I have been known to sail in uncharted waters at inhuman hours in the depths of winter.  Just to see what it tastes like.


Then, of course, there is “the plan.”  That’s usually a structured outline of some kind, or a list of bullet points to be used like a roadmap when all else fails.  Some people do write off-the-cuff, making it up as they go along in what’s called Stream of Consciousness.  I plot and scheme, or plan–whenever I can.


A lot has been said about better ways to use your time.  Some people grind away for no more than thirty minutes before doing other things.  If the shoe fits, wear it.  That’s what I say, even if it means keyboarding for hours at a time.  It’s not unusual for some people to count their daily word output.  I won’t confirm or deny any guilt in this matter.


As long as you know what your goal is and how you are getting there, everything else takes care of itself when all of the writing is finished.  No matter when that actually happens.

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