One thing I have always known is that writers are weird. I love that. They are like atheletes with strange (sometimes gross) pre-game rituals or who have some item that must be used. For me, I have a hoodie I lived in during NaNoWriMo. I bought two of them just to reduce the weirdness for my family.
“Why does mom get to wear the same thing every day and I can’t?”
The writing process goes beyond just the quirky rituals. For some of us, we had to figure out a way to get the story out.
Do you plan? Outlines? Writing prompts? How do you get those words flowing onto the paper (screen)?
I have to plan everything. When I was younger, I tried to write by world building first. It NEVER worked. I always got caught up in details. This time, a friend asked me to write a story about our World of Warcraft characters meeting. I got caught up in it. The scene was good. I found myself wanting to write more! even though i had to create a world as I went. Here is where I ran into a problem.
I have two kids. They are 7 (almost 8) and 9. They have a lot of homework and still require some hands on from me to get it done. (Mostly holding them down to do it.) Mornings are a chaotic ritual from which my husband flees each morning. lets not talk about just trying to keep them playing nicely and teaching them to be little people instead of feral animals.
I also have my adulting that keeps the family functional. I had to come up with a way to get to my writing when my story was ready to be written. After a lot of trial and error and deleting about thirty-five pages by forgetting to lock my phone I came up with a method that got my words out of my head and beta read at the same time.
My characters had a bad habit of getting active in my head when I was busy. Washing dishes, cooking, walking my kids to and from school. I needed a way to type, but lock my words so that if I let my screen lock it did not lose several new pages, or auto save the delete I just performed with my booty.
I ended up using WhatsApp to send short clips to a trusted friend then emailing myself the transcript. I can write about five thousand words between 7:00 am and 9:00 pm without my family complaining about me being inattentive. I take the transcript and edit the time stamps out and fix all the iPhone spell check errors.
For NaNoWriMo I wrote over eighty thousand words like this. It is a steaming pile of crap, but I have a plan to fix it. I am finding the revision process on my first 160K word book Is a bit harder. My perfectionism has kicked in and I am having to rewrite the entire book. This is a bit harder to do on mobile and Microsoft Word is seriously not helping me.
I spend an hour going through the chapter and flagging things that need to be rewritten. Then I use WhatsApp to rework the flags. Next I put the chapter back together and start fixing dialogue and making sure each sentence says what I mean to say. I hate being stuck at the computer right now, but it cannot be helped.
I just looked down and I am wearing my sweatshirt again.