It’s always nice to finish writing a book, put that last period on the paper, go back in for edits and finally send it in to your editor. I did that this week – ended that particular chapter of my life, at least until my revision sheet comes back. My usual routine is to give myself a couple of days off before I start the next book. But I must say, that next plot is already percolating in my brain almost from the time I hit send on the previous book. It’s anxious to get out, to get it’s first chapter down on paper lest I forget it. So by the end of my second day off, I’m ready to write, and I kow where I’m going thanks to a persistent idea that wont let go of me.
But how do I write? For sure, it’s not from an outline. I tried that years ago and got stuck between what my outline wanted there and what I wanted there. That’s when I threw in the towel and got rid of the outline. But I’m not one of those by-the-seat-of-the-pants writers either. I edit too many contest manuscripts where I see that trait come out badly. That’s not to say that a lot of good writers can’t pull it off, because they can. But not me, and not scores of others who don’t put in the work of knowing where they’re going. Trust me, if it’s obvious to me, it’s obvious to an editor.
So how do I do it? The truth is, the writing comes to me. I pre-think where I’m going, how I want to get there, and what I want to happen along the way. By the time I sit down every day to write, all but the actual placing of words on the paper has been done. In other words, I guide my book, I don’t let me book guide me, although there is always room for flexibility on the journey. When I pull up my document, I have no doubts about what’s going to come next because I’ve played the scenario through several times already.
My biggest fear? Having no ideas in my head to translate onto paper. It hasn’t happened yet, maybe because I’m always writing “in my head” no matter what else I’m doing. I must have a certain expression when I do this, too, because I’ve heard the people around me say, “Shhh, she’s in her head.” Whatever works, I suppose.
So, as a writer, how do you write? What little routines do you go through once you’ve finished one book before you start another? Do you ever have days the words just don’t come?
By the way, I’ll be signing books at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, as well as teaching a class there on 50 ways to build an author’s platform. Drop by either, or both. I’d love to see you.
Until next time, wishing you health & happiness!