If someone would have asked me two weeks ago if I were going to write a new book this summer, I would have answered, "Are you crazy? I have a new baby and I can't get my act together enough to write a book, let alone clean up that tiny piece of cat poo that has been sitting on the living room floor for a week!" But here I am, writing a new book. (I think Matt got to the poo.) Weirdness. So far I really like what I've got, and, as it's my third novel, it's really made me look at the way I write. Not in a way, like, I need to look at things and change them, but in just a way that's like, hey, I kind of have an interesting way of writing a book. Let me explain.
I often read or see writers speak about their writing process, which many can do in a very elaborate, researched, planned way. In my life, at least pre-baby brain, I would say I had been very researched and planned about most everything. Post-baby brain, I don't have the time or energy to devote to things such as, say, cleaning my house as I once did (oh, who am I kidding? I never devoted myself to that. I'm referring more to things like vacation planning, scheduling of activities, meals, etc.). What was my point? Oh yes, that I don't really plan my books. This book, which so far contains a vague plot and some vague characters and some possoble traveling, is coming out as I write. And I guess that's how I do it. With Get Well Soon, which had so much content that actually happened to me, I did much more planning. With my second book, Into the Wild Nerd Yonder (coming this fall to a store near you!), much less. This next one, tentatively titled Don't Stop Now (a reference to one of my favorite bands, Guided By Voices), just has a very lose outline. In fact, my agent asked me to write up a little description, and I was like, um, can I lie? It's very interesting to me that I can just sit down for an hour or two and write as though I am reading. That's the best way I can describe it. It's not like I know what's going to happen next, although there are random details that I want to include (certain foods people must eat, towns they must visit, kisses they must have), but otherwise, it's anyone's guess, including mine, what is going to happen on the rest of the pages. Which is why I enjoy writing. A surprise in every box!
I'm curious: what are some of the ways other writers out there choose to write? Or, don't choose, for that matter?