Apr 18, 2013

My Writing Process

I said I would post something on the process I'm using with my WIP, so here it is!

The first part of my pre-planning involved fitting some key plot points into the W plot arc. (Do you know this? I read about it in Mary Caroll Moore's "Your Novel Starts Here".) My aim was to first of all find the pivotal scenes that fit into the arc - each of the five high and low points. This was easy enough as I already had an idea of some 'big' scenes, and I could see just how these scenes fit into the bigger picture and what order they would happen in.

Another technique I'm using from Moore's book is the idea of an island list. An island is a piece of writing that is written in isolation to any other piece, but which is part of the whole, although the link between the islands will only be recognised when they're all written. It's a wonderful way to discover the depths of the story - where theme and arc and motivations reside. I brainstormed a list of islands prior to Camp NaNo and started writing one each evening. Sometimes they inspired a follow up scene. Sometimes they inspired more islands where I could see the scene I was working on would have a mirror equivalent near the end of the novel.

I highly recommend Moore's book for anyone starting out with writing, for anyone that's more of a pantser than a full-blown plotter (but has enough writing experience under their belts to realise that there has to be some sort of destination in mind if they're ever to finish the novel), for anyone who is right-brained and a visual sort of person, or for anyone who's tried other processes and they just haven't worked as well as expected.

Happy writing!