The Writing Process????

When I read the topic for this month I wondered if I wasn’t, well, uneducated.  As much as I hate to admit it I was rather puzzled by the question:  What is the most difficult or challenging part of the writing process for you?  At first I thought in general terms--Would it be problems in getting story ideas, doing research, plotting, getting words down on paper or what?  I wasn’t entirely sure what was meant by “the writing process.”
In today’s world when in doubt or ignorance, google.  It was with some relief I discovered I hadn’t missed the chalkboard completely.  As you can tell by the graphic above and if you check the links below there are five steps (more or less) to the writing process. Several of the sites offer help when you run into problems with the writing process.
 The ABC’s of the Writing Process  is an informative and entertaining site. 
Wikipedia  has an in-depth look at various approaches to the process. 
The Purdue online Writing Lab  has several helpful links for the process and troubleshooting when you get stalemated. 
Cleveland State University has a very pendantic approach which can be applied to romance writing although it is geared for thesis writing.

The Writing Process  1.  Prewriting  2.  Writing  3.  Revising  4.  Editing   5.  Publishing

I could say that publishing has been my problem of late since I’ve indie published Honour’s Debt.  But publishing is the endgame.  You have to have a completed manuscript before you can fret about getting it into print or digital formats.

Prewriting?  It is a mixed bag for me.  Research is a joy!  There is nothing like the chase for the right setting, time period, and details. 

Plotting?  Not so much, especially since I’m not conversant in using the terms Pat and Roz speak about so confidently and use so compellingly--plot points, black moments, character arcs, etc.  Perhaps it’s because I never knew another writer until after I was published.  Whatever the reason, I am definitely challenged in that area.  Thus I outline a story and my characters run away with it.  They leave me to muddle through their plot twists.  It is a writing weakness of mine that my stories come to me rather full blown.  When they don’t and I manufacture plot points I struggle to write the story.  Not a good thing for a fiction writer.

Revising?  Once I have the story’s first draft revising is no problem for me.  A former teacher, I just change my writing hat to an editing fedora and I’m good to go. 

Nothing has stymied me the past two years as much as a lack of writing persistence.  You’ve heard of it the solution--butt-in-chair-hands-on-keyboard.  A simple enough concept and yet I find myself yielding to the slightest distraction.  Free cell, helping my brother pick grapes in his vineyard, spider solitaire, sewing a quilt top for my niece, solitaire, playing with my grandchildren.  Huge sigh.  I do have two huge issues on my plate that are more than distracting but there was a time when even such serious problems didn’t stop my writing.  I’ve changed and the solutions I once employed to increase productivity no longer work.  I can’t seem to live with writing at the moment and I can’t live without it.  A conundrum but I’m certain there is an answer to it lurking in the shadows of my life.  Curiosity got the cat and it may get me through this slump.  I ask myself just how much good is in my monumentally bad guy Donatien?  I once thought there was none but he surprised me in Honour’s Redemption.  I have to write the next book to find out.  That will get my fingers moving.

Lastly some self promotion.  The Promise Rose, my Avalon book released in 2003, has just been released as an ebook by Regency Reads.


Reese Mobley said...

Joan, you are one of the talented writers I mentioned in my post. You must be doing something right because your words flow seamlessly from the page to my imagination. You make it look easy and I envy your talent!

Joan Vincent said...

Thank you, Reese. Wow, that is certainly a boost to the confidence which I too am weak in when it comes to writing.

Melissa Robbins said...

Besides publishing, editing is hard for me. I want to move onto the next story. Not reread and reread my story again and again. Oh sure, I don't mind rereading my favorite scenes, but as a reader, not an editor.

Rox Delaney said...

Melissa, do you have an ereader? I don't know if all support text-to-speech, but Kindle does. All it takes is emailing your manuscript (.doc or .docx) to your Kindle, and it will read it to you. Works great! Instead of proofreading, it's prooflistening. It's amazing how much we can miss visually, especially after having read the same thing several times, but hearing it makes those small mistakes (and especially echoes--repetitive words) jump out. Email me for more info on how to do this. :)