I’m doing The Snowflake Challenge on Dreamwidth, and the challenge for day three was “In your own space, talk about your creative process – from what inspires you to what motivates you to how you manage to break through blocks. Does your process change depending on the type of creating you’re doing? Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.” I felt like this was great to cross-post, so here it is.
Hmmm. My creative process. It’s interesting that this is the post for day 3 coz I don’t really spend time talking about how I work. I mostly just point to other writers and say, “I do that.” I guess the truth is that while I take some advice from others, that’s not what I do.
My writing sort of comes in stages. Stage one is the plot bunnies. I get bunnies constantly. All the time. I wish writing didn’t take so damn long because I’ll never be able to write as much as I want to. I’m always saying, “I want to write a story about . . . ” It could be something as silly as Stiles buying a new t-shirt or something as complex as Derek’s mental process as he dealt with the death of his family.
From the bunny comes the writing(ish). Used to be, I would sort of “get in the mood” (Do not ask me how this happens. It has to be in the morning, the house must be clean, and I may or may not have coffee. I should probably turn off the Internet and avoid being any kind of intoxicated. I should also do it on the computer. But don’t think I’ve never done otherwise.) So once I was “in the mood,” I would write (read: write a bit, Internet, get up for water, go pee, talk to my cat . . . pretty much anything BUT write). Now, I’m a huge proponent of Anne Lamott’s “shitty first draft” theory. (Here come the experts.) That means I just sort of throw everything on the page and hope for the best because I’m going to edit it later. I just need it DONE.
Now, here’s where things get . . . different.
I USED TO use my “in the mood” method to varying degrees of effect, depending on my mood. (Imagine that, right?) Now, however, I have begun using Rachel Aaron’s method of doing a quick outline sketch of what you’re going to write before you write. Literally a short hand of EVERY ACTION or dialogue in the scene. Try it. It’s amazing. (If you want more, buy her $.99 book 2k to 10k. And no, she’s not paying me for this. She doesn’t even know who I am. LOL I just think her book is the best thing to happen to me in 2014.) This method has gotten me through a LOT of blocks, and I also don’t need to be “in the mood” to write anymore. I just make myself do it.
After it’s written, I try to give it a once-over (at least) and edit it until smooth. From there, I usually say “good enough” and send it off to my beta. She works out the kinks and turns my writing into something people actually want to read.
And that’s my creative process in a nutshell.