If there's anything I love more than writing, it is talking about the writing process. 8th April Saturday night on Blogchatter FB page, I had a live session on my writing process. This article is to put down the points I spoke about so that you can mull over them & use them as & when you need.
Before you read further, just want to add, the following have worked for me. They may or may not suit you. Feel free to try them, reject or accept them.
1.The most important rule of writing…Is that there isn't any rule. Creative processes should flow naturally and the way you will it. So the rule is that there isn't any rule. However, having said that there's a method to the madness and you'll benefit from charting a few guidelines for yourself to bear in mind as you write along.
2.Plot or character what comes first. For me both happen almost simultaneously. I write relationship stories which are both character and plot driven. I usually begin by doing a detailed and very thorough character sketch of the primary characters. I don't just do a physical description but delve deep into their nature, what they like to wear, what kind of food they like, what is their temperament, where were they born, how educated are they and etc. To give an example from my debut novel A Forgotten Affair: Sagarika the protagonist is an artist. She likes ethic dresses, silver jewellery, has wild curly mane, loves coffee bitter but munches on sugar cubes, loves Chikoo flavour natural ice cream.
I also name the central characters very carefully and after a lot of thought.
3.Why is the name important? The characters are my babies. I breathe life into them. I give them characteristics, flesh, blood, nature and finally name. I want to get under their skin. I want to able to think and breathe with them. Delve deep into their nature and background history and finally giving them a unique name that makes them come alive. I'm able to tell their story better. So think about what you want to name the characters.
4.Never edit while you write. I follow this rule very seriously. I write out the whole story and don't pause to read the previous chapters. If I do, I feel the pace and flow of the story is interrupted. I know there are many weeds that need to be eliminated and I will tend to them but not while I'm writing.
5.Never jump chapters. I always write as the story flows. I follow the story. I don't jump chapters and write something that will come later. Yes, thoughts do occur and I jot them down in separate word file but when I write I follow the order. Maybe this is the Virgo in me that likes to keep to the path. But this works well for me. I read on FB few days back, a comment by a fellow author that she likes to work on two novels at the same time. She likes to switch between the two and works better that way. As I said in the beginning, this is your circus and you are the ringmaster. Do what works for you but I like to focus my all in one story.
6.You could do chapter outline for few chapters to get into the flow. It's a good idea to do a chapter outline of at least the first 10-15 chapters to get the story buzzing. Unless, of course the story is gushing out of you.
7.I don't discuss the WiP with anyone while writing it. I know my story, I know the way I'm writing it. I don't want to be influenced by what others opine on it. Write your story with passion, love and give it everything you have. Be consumed and devoured by the story. Make it your own. Tell it the best way you can. Write a story you want to read. Write it from your heart, with your heart…it will touch other's heart too. Don't think of the market or audience for the book. Don't think about who will read it.
8.Do some form of physical exercise, yoga, swim, walk. What does exercise have anything to do with writing? You'll be surprised! You will get stuck in your writing. There will be bad days and good days. There will be days when you wouldn't know where the plot is headed. Any form of exercise helps when this happens. It will clear your mind and you'll see the road ahead better.
Writing is a lonely job. People make it sound very romantic and interesting. There's nothing remotely romantic about sitting in your chair, huddled over your laptop or notebook, pounding the story out of your head. So don't isolate yourself. Join a writing community, have a group of writer friends who are in the same boat as you. You'll feel good sharing your difficulties and hearing about theirs. You will feel less alone. This is a very important part of the writing process – being part of a writing group.
So have fun, write away and write on. Listen to your heart. Hope the above pointers help.about theirs. You will feel less alone. This is a very important part of the writing process – being part of a writing group.
Have fun, write away and write on. Listen to your heart. Hope the above pointers help.