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Sunday, August 19, 2012

How I Wrote It

Tomorrow the editing begins. I'm ready for it. Ready to be done with this, ready to be put it out into the world. Ready to hear some form of feedback. 

I have other book ideas, but pushing those out aren't really concerning me right now. Having this done, that is all that really matters. 

I'm trying to setup book tours right now. One author emailed over 500 book bloggers. I'm going through a company to do it--I'm going to outsource until it gets to expensive to do so.

Onto today's topic.

For writers, I think there is a certain uncertainty when it comes to the specific way they write. I know there was for me for a long time. Actually, up until this novel I did not figure out the way that I write best. I've been writing since I was nineteen and I wrote this novel at the ripe, old age of 25. That's six years of writing, plus serious studying of how other writers completed their works. 

So I figure, I'll lay out my path to completing a novel in case anyone is ever interested. It took two novels for me to get there, two novels and another writer beating the shit out of me every time I let him look at a piece of my work. All I cared about was pushing out ideas, getting them on paper as fast as I could, and moving onto next. This led to a prolific amount of words, but quite a few of them were horrible.

So when I sat down to write this novel, I said: Beers, you gotta slow down. How can you make yourself slow down? 

The answer was easy. Write with a blindfold over your eyes. 

I kid, I kid.

What I did was write two pages. Then I went back and hand wrote those two pages, then typed them back up. 

That didn't work either. It kept breaking the creative process, so by the time I finished rewriting, I had forgotten where in the hell the chapter was headed. So I needed a way to slow down and to keep the creativity flowing.

I decided to do the same thing, but with chapters. As I was writing, I read a book by Joe Hill, and at the end he said he had five drafts for the thing. The most I had ever done was two, and that's what I appeared to be doing now.

What did that tell me? I wasn't slowing down enough. 

Currently, I was typing out a chapter, handwriting, and then retyping it in. I decided to add two more steps to it. Once I had retyped the chapter, I printed it out, read it over and made corrections on paper. Then I put the corrections back in. Finally, I read the chapter aloud, making corrections there.

I did that through 70,000 words. Each chapter constructed by itself, my mind almost lost in it--but I think somewhere the rest of the story was working its way out in the back of my mind. Truly, it was the easiest plotting I ever did. Chapter after chapter just came next, without me actually sitting down and writing a single word of plot out (I don't care what anyone says, plotting is the devil). What's crazy, is that it didn't take much editing of the whole book to make the whole plot fit--the pieces just fell where they should, and I think that's because I immersed myself in each chapter and allowed my brain to work through the rest while I was focusing elsewhere.

It took a lot longer to write this one, but I think the end result is a lot better.

Oh yeah, once I finished it, I went back and edited it once more.

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