Today on Facebook, someone asked about how my writing comes along – if I sit down for a certain number of hours per day to write or if the inspiration drives the writing, and how long it takes, overall. So I thought I would share my writing process.
It all starts with an idea, of course. Usually an idea gleaned from real life, like when I realized I wanted to kiss my high school best friend. Or, in the case of the Ashland Witches, me wondering how I could incorporate a teensy bit of paranormal fun, as well as my own spiritual path, into a book without it overtaking the story.
Then I sit down and get out as much of the idea as I can in one go. That’s early on when inspiration is driving me and I’m in diabolical mastermind mode. After that, I tell my mind, “Calm down. This is actual work, you know.”
Getting everything out of my mind is the easy part. Sometimes it’s a dump of information that goes, “X happens to Y and Z.” Sometimes I write something more structured. I tread a bit of a line between pantser and plotter. Outlining allows me to write more smoothly, but it’s rare that I have a full outline ready to go.
Once I’m ready to sit down and write my story, I get a cup of something caffeinated (anything from tea to coffee; I’m a fan of frou-frou drinks from Scooters and Starbucks), sit down, and write from beginning to end. That’s it. No, it’s not the most exciting writing process, is it? I aim for a certain number of words per day, days per week, based upon self-imposed deadlines. I also must ensure both my cover artist and copyeditor have enough notice to meet my desired deadlines.
The story goes through various drafts, depending on my feelings about it. Oh yes, some stories have been shut away, never to see the light of day. So that’s it! Brain dump, followed by sitting down and writing from beginning to end. Once the story is released, I do take some time to celebrate (*cough*bingeonnetflix*cough*) and then the cycle begins once more.