What’s your writing process?

One of my favorite subjects to read about is the writing process of authors. The goal of any author is to finish a piece of work and it’s fascinating to see the different ways authors go about completing that goal. Some authors outline meticulously while others write by the seat of their pants. Some prefer writing late at night, some like writing early in the morning. One author might like to sit in the exact same spot in his house and work and another might like to go to a coffee shop to work.

Personally, since I work during the day I have to write at night. I’ve heard that some authors who have day jobs get up and write for a few hours before they go to work, but I’ve never tried that. I’ve never been much of a morning person. I get home around 6, eat a little dinner, surf the web for a bit, put on a little background music and then get to work until it’s bedtime. One day I hope to try writing before work because I know at times after a long day at work, I’m exhausted and my writing probably suffers.

When I write, I prefer to sit at the kitchen table. That’s my spot. Anywhere else and I don’t feel quite as comfortable. I also don’t outline very much. Usually, I have a rough idea of the overall structure of the story, but for the most part I just like to sit down at my laptop and see where the story takes me.

There doesn’t seem to be any one recipe that works for everyone. It seems to be that whatever you’re most comfortable with produces the best results.

So tell me: What’s your process? Night/day? Outline/Seat of your pants? Music/Complete silence?  Where’s your spot? What works for you?

“Oh No”

This is an entry for the contest over at Yearning for Wonderland Check it out. There’s still time to enter.

*****
    “Oh No”

“Hand it over,” I said as I picked up the scrawny freshman by his collar and pinned him against the locker.

“Please don’t take my lunch money,” he pleaded.

I held him there and reached into his coat pocket pulling out a handful of crumpled dollar bills.

As he pleaded for me to stop, I raised my first and jerked it forward, stopping inches from his face. He trembled and let out a yelp as a wet spot appeared on his pants. A chorus of laughter enveloped me as my four friends doubled over and howled.

Dropping the kid to the ground, tears began streaming down his cheeks.

“Why?” the little boy sniffled as he spoke.

“Why not? I’m the biggest and baddest at this school. The biggest and baddest in the whole town.”

I glanced behind me to make sure my friends nodded in agreement, which they did.

The kid rose to his feet and wiped the snot from his nose with his sleeve.

“Nuh-uh,” his voice cracked as he spoke, “My brother is two years older than me and he’s tougher than you and your friends combined!”

Two?” I said smiling as my friends howled in laughter again. “Tell him to come to the park and we’ll see how tough he is.”

****

“He’ll be here, I promise,” the boy said as he shivered in the cold winter wind.

“If you lied to us,” I said shoving him, “I’ll…”

“I hear you’ve been picking on my little brother,” a deep voice bellowed from the woods.

A big grin crossed the freshman’s face. I felt the vibrations in the earth first. Then I felt a warm trickle run down my leg as I saw the freshman’s massive, baldheaded and one-eyed brother emerge from the woods.

“Oh no,” I uttered.

How I Wrote My First Book

Graduating from college in May and faced with the idea of relaxing a.k.a. being unemployed for the summer, I wanted to find something constructive to do. The summer before I did P90x and doing that for a second summer was absolutely out of the question. However, writing a book was always one of those things that I wanted to do at some point in my life. With all of the time in the world, I figured why not now? I, unfortunately, had done very little creative writing up to that point in my life. I had started stories here and there, but never finished them.

I had a word document saved on my computer that was at least three years old full of ideas for stories that I had jotted down over the years. Late one night in early June, I popped open that word document and scanned over some of the thoughts I had written down. One idea struck me in particular and I thought, “Hey, I can probably do something with this.” Of course, what I ended up with has almost nothing to do with that original idea.

Between June and August, I sat down at my computer around 11pm, when everyone had gone to bed, and I wrote. I tried to hold myself to a minimum of 1000 words every day. Some days I wrote way more and some days I wrote way less. My original goal was to reach 50,000 words because that is the target number for the National Novel Writing Month. Of course, it wasn’t November, but just reading about the idea got me excited. At first it was difficult and I slogged through it, putting one word after another. Overtime, it became easier, and ultimately, I finished writing in the middle of August with a word count over 100,000.

Then, the real world came calling. I put my degree to use and started my first full time job in August. I put off editing the novel for three months, where I instead wrote a few shorter stories here and there. Now it’s February and I’m working through the second revision of my novel which I hope to finish up before the end of the month.

Next time, I hope to share a little bit about how I’ve been editing my novel.

Currently reading: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. Awesome book.