my creative process

This is what mine looks like:

1) Freewriting.  With or without prompts, I just write like a maniac and try not to censor myself at all (which often results in some of my best ideas).  While freewriting, I am shocked to meet characters whom I never intended to write about, whom I am meeting for the very first time as I type.  I am surprised by what my characters say and do and the events that occur while I am writing without censorship.  Granted, this draft usually makes little or no sense, can stop in the middle of a sentence, and will include scenes that will never make it past this stage.  Themajority of this draft will disappear by the end.

2) Organizing.  I look back through the junk I’ve generated and try to make some sort of sense out of it.

3) Editing.  Now back through it again to make it look and sound better.  Cut excess words, add better imagery.  I am terrible at description and don’t include it very naturally, so at this stage, I’ll try to graft some into the paragraphs so that others can see what I’m seeing.

4) Feedback.  A MUST.  At this stage, my writing group and some select other friends will need to look it over, or I can’t go any further with the piece.  I NEED constructive criticism and outside eyes to tell me what works and what doesn’t.  I need people to tell me “I don’t think Joey would say such-and-such” or “if Stacy finds out about that secret that early, you won’t have any tension in your story.”

5) Repeat steps 1-4.  For a long time, maybe years.  And I pray about what I’m writing too.  I ask God to move me in the right direction with my stories.

What does your creative process look like?

3 thoughts on “my creative process

  1. My (desired) writing process is quite similar, depending upon the project. Sometimes a character will present himself/herself, and I’ll write scenes that come easily, then add or delete scenes as need be.

  2. I’ve never enjoyed free-writing, mostly because it never seems to get me anywhere.

    I bet you’re not terrible at description. I know that I struggle with it terribly, but then always end up getting compliments on how good my descriptions are.

    There’s one thing I’d suggest when you’re struggling with it, and I think this is probably why people seem to like mine. when I know I need a description of a setting or a person, I riff on the work of people who have done it so brilliantly — I always turn to Lawrence Durrell. The Alexandria Quartet, Bitter Lemons, The Avignon Quintet — these are all novels spilling over with vivid descriptions. I will usually type out the passage that I like, pay attention to its rhythm and pacing, use of language. Then I take it to my own work. What I end up with bears no resemblance to Durrell’s impressionistic and florid descriptions, but it was just the point of departure that did the trick.

  3. Pingback: Frozen | Lights All Around

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