I keep hoping to find my rhythm in blogging. Sort of Mystery Mondays, as in you’ll never guess what I’ve come up with, Writing Wednesdays, with my thoughts and musings on writing and the writer’s life, and leave Fridays for Fun. I mean, you gotta have fun on a Friday, don’t ya?
But my plans for some semblance of a schedule keep getting interrupted. I see something I want to blog about and just can’t resist. So there is more or less a schedule around here, but like any schedule in my chaotic life, it is subject to change without notice.
One subject that I’ve had on the list of potential blogs is Prewriting. I tend to be a person who does a lot of prewriting before I actually sit down and type the words. I never really counted this time as writing before the DH put me on The Plan. I’ll talk more about The Plan at another time, but suffice it to say, as I wrote my last book, I tracked ALL my time–from researching on the internet, to jotting notes, to writing, and mostly, I discovered, prewriting. And all this time counts since it all contributes to the finished product.
So what is my Prewriting? With my trusty non-fat latte at hand, and a notebook and pencil before me, I start by jotting notes, lists, ideas, bits of dialogue. I diagram a chapter, dividing it up into scenes, looking for whose POV will best further the story, how I’ll set the scene, a scene question that needs answering. I ask myself how this scene will delve deeper into my character’s changing and evolving situation.
Suddenly, I’ll hear the characters nattering at me and I start taking crazy, fast paced notes like an overworked stenographer (thankfully, by the time this happens, I’m usually starting to feel my caffeine buzz kick in), and suddenly the pages fill with my own wild handwriting that I would pity anyone else trying to decipher. Those notes are the rough beginnings of a scene. Sometimes I have nearly an entire sequence written, mapped out, with great bits a dialogue and places where I want to emphasis some theme I’m pounding home. Other times it is merely a single line that I leave alone because I need to mull it over and ponder the possibilities it offers to my story.
I know there are the pantsers out there who love to write from the heat of the moment might feel strangled by my methods, but I find them very liberating. I experiment and explore with the freedom of pencil in hand. I highlight, I doodle, I brainstorm in seven different directions, and then when the story is ready, I write. And if I’ve done my prewriting, the writing, the really fun part of being an author, flows like water.
Rather than feel guilty about the time I spend jotting away like a madwoman in my notebook, like I used to do, I know that hour or so of goofing around is going to keep me from pulling my hair out later.