What is your writing process?

Hello blogland,

One of the best courses I ever took was a tutor training course. The first day of class, Cynthia Haynes-Burton gave us an assignment. She asked us to write 500 to 1000 words describing our writing process. I had been writing since I was very young, but it had never occurred to me to think about my writing process.  I stayed up until the very wee hours analyzing and pondering. This is what I came up with:

1. I must plan (this plan will be thrown out eventually).

2. I must write my plan out with a marker pen in very large letters with pictures. This helps me see my eventual transitions (which is where my originality is usually found).

3. I must write more than I want to. I have a tendency to write strongly and with focus for 45 minutes and then to drift off into other things. I must not do this. I must write through this lull and find that sweet writing zone.

4. I need one week extra time before I hand anything in. I use this time to edit, proofread and generally fuss over what I’ve written.

What is your writing process? When do you write?



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2 Responses to What is your writing process?

  1. betterlettered says:

    Interesting question. I’m not sure I have a defined process. I just do lots of thinking, jot down an character outline and synopsis (sometimes) then launch at it. Like you, I tend to dump my initial plans along the way anyhow, but I feel as if having these makes me more secure before I start to write in earnest. I wrote one novel entirely without a plan – it was a disaster. I could almost trace my moods through the pages. Definitely not the way to go. A process is good – whatever form it takes!

  2. I agree! A process is a must. I had to rewrite an entire chapter of my thesis for the very reason you describe above — I could read my emotional state from one paragraph to the next. No consistency or clarity of voice. It was horrible. I recently also realised that I have to start writing around 8 am or I can’t write well the rest of the day. This is too early!

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