Monday, February 8, 2010

What's Your Favorite Part of the Writing Process?

  • Do you like to start a new book?
The good things about starting a new book, is that you get to dream up some new characters, new setting, and new plot. The bad thing about starting a new book is that it's like wandering through a forest, you might have an idea where the road home is located, but you don't know how to get there. This is not my favorite part of the process.

  • What about the middle of the book?
The good things about the middle of the book are that you have a much better idea of where you are going, have most of your characters in place, and maybe you know the ending. Sometimes I know the ending, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I think I know the ending, but it changes when I reach it. That's the great thing about writing, you get to make everything up. However, this is still not my favorite part of the process.

  • The end of the first draft?
For me, the end of the first draft is when I have written the entire story into a set of spiral bound notebooks. Once complete, I probably have 80% of the story complete. I say 80% because inevitably I still add scenes, and delete scenes in the type and edit process. I feel a great sense of accomplishment when this is complete, but I know there is still a lot of work to do.

  • First draft typed in?
This is a great feeling. I'm at this stage when all the text from the many notebooks I scribbled in, has finally made it to a Word file. It's at this point that I back it up to like twelve different places, you know, just in case. When I've reached this point, the book is 95% complete, and it feels like it's all downhill from there. Even though this is quite a thrill, it's still not my favorite part.

  • Reading through first draft?
Ding, ding, ding, ding, we have a winner. I love reading through the entire draft once it has all been typed in. Along the way I have done major editing, and the book is actually in pretty good shape. I read through the book, make all kinds of notes on the pages, and keep track of which scenes need to be lengthened, shortened, tweaked, tension added, more explanation, etc. By this time, I have forgotten most of the beginning of the book, and reading through it is like visiting it for the first time.

  • Revising the second draft?
This is probably my second favorite part. I usually wait a few weeks after the first draft was completed before I dive into this one.

  • Revising the nth draft?
After the second draft, I'm usually done with the book, and may not want to see it for quite a while.

So what's your favorite part of the writing process?


  1. Hmmm, I think I prefer the middle and end of the first draft (which for me is type). :-)

  2. Wow, I didn't know anyone COULD like the middle - isn't it interesting how different we all are in our approach? For me it's the end. Definitely. Even if revisions are to come, I like that euphoria that comes with typing those two precious words, 'the end'.


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