Sunday, July 3, 2011
So, this past week we added a new addition to our critique group. Her name is Laurie and she's super awesome because she also loves and writes YA!!! Now, I love all of my group members, but it's just going to be exciting to have another kid at heart in the group.
As we were going through the interview process to decide if we'd let her join (we're a tough group like that), the idea of finding ones writing process came up. When it comes to plotting and developing a compelling story, each writer has their specific process for getting their ideas from their brain to the page, but finding that process can be much more difficult than any of us can think. Laurie is in search of her process now and it got me thinking on how I'd found my own.
When I first started writing, I did what I thought all writers did, I sat at my computer and typed out my chapters as they flitted across my mind. I've always been a person who outlines, but I thought I had to just follow my outline and put those ideas onto the computer screen - and I utterly failed. While the story was plotted well, the draft that began to take form wasn't nearly what I knew I could produce. So I went back to the drawing board and thought on how I used to handle writing when I was doing a lot more of it - back in college and high school - and I realized one important fact - I used to write everything in long hand before typing it out at a later time. This one small change made all the difference. The words began to flow and when I did type it out I was able to edit myself and make my first draft even better. In turning back and re-evaluating my process, I found something that really worked well for me.
Each of us, as writers, have to find what works the best for us when it comes to transferring the stories in our minds to the stories that can be seen and read by others. It may take a bit of patience and a whole lot of work, but if you spend the time and focus on the task at hand, the reward will more than be worth it.