Wednesday, July 29, 2009

That's How I Write

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?


GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

It's weird because when I was in HS, I wrote all the time. Yes, most of it was Star Trek fan fiction, but it was still writing. And I took writer's workshop. It seemed so easy-I don't know how I did.
Now, I try to write, but I get scared about writing dialog-I'm not sure why. I always find it interesting when writes say they sit down and write and they don't know where the story is going to go, but it just works out. That scares me too-but I like to plan ahead. My husband is trying to write a book right now and he plans an outline, but everything else just comes as he writes. I'm always amazed at how he does that.

Julie H said...

GBTQ- all I have to say is: Star Trek Fan fiction? Weren't you just complaining about wanting to be more nerdy? Love it!

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

LOL! Yeah, I know, right? I was a total nerd in HS, but my husband doesn't want to try D&D or anything like that. Makes me sad. I had this whole group of nerds in school, but now we've lost touch. I need new nerds to hang out with.