October 9, 2012

My Process

So, I'm in the final stages of writing the sequel to my book, THE SILO. Yay!!! And since I'm at the end I've been thinking a lot about the process I go through to get from the idea to the finished book...and here's the thing...it's not the most efficient or speedy method. I start out with good intentions, outlining and mapping out day to day what scenes I'll work on, but I'd say for months I end up writing a lot of scenes that I ultimately end up throwing out. I take every possible wrong turn it seems until I finally find the right road to take story wise. I read an interview with Libba Bray recently where she said that part of her process always involved writing the book wrong before she could get it right and I am exactly the same. I throw out just as much, if not more as I keep with EVERY SINGLE BOOK. And I don't foresee that changing. I have notebooks and notebooks of words that will never see the light of day again as well as a whole host of typed in scenes that are going to launguish in my computer forever. I keep hoping that I'll somehow figure out how to skip this part so I can go faster, but no matter how much preplanning I do, it doesn't happen. And this is what makes writing a novel hard...because the part where I write all the wrong stuff...isn't fun. Somehow I can always feel it, even when I'm in the midst of writing it, but still I have to soldier on because for me it's the only way to get to the stuff that'll stick. Which means that about 90% of my writing time feels forced and hard. Things only get fun at this stage--the one I'm in now, that last 10%-- when I know exactly where I'm going. At this point the words come easily and I can't wait to get to the computer and have to drag myself away from it at night. How about you? Is your process similar or do the words come easier?


  1. Hear, hear! This is my pain right now. I'm at the end of the second great revision of BTW and again, it's an entirely different book. So, reading this has made me feel better. It's nice to know I'm not alone.


  2. *fistbumps you back* I think we have to be the majority, right? I'm not sure I want to know if there are people out there who get it all right the first time. I think my head would explode.

    1. I'm not sure about majority....but I know others. We're not alone!

  3. It's fascinating readin about other author's writing process. We all tackle it so differently!

  4. Lost words! I have literally thousands of words from drafts that will and should never see the light of day for my Collection. And notebooks. Jeez. When it comes to being creative I can't imagine too much of a way to be organized about it. However I do have an excel grid of characters for my Collection and outline in excel of stories and their themes.
    Most important for me is I have to know what the characters look like before I can move forward. But it's amazing how much things change from the initial idea. Even the most basic idea about people in love can become so much more! Cool post, Amy!

  5. I'm glad to hear you say this, Amy, because I'm exactly the same way!