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Exploring the Art of Writing: Unveiling Diverse Writing Processes

Updated: Sep 1, 2023


The act of writing is a dynamic and multifaceted endeavor that transcends the boundaries of creativity, discipline, and personal methodology. Every author, from literary giants to emerging talents, has their unique approach to crafting words into compelling narratives. In this exploration, I consider my writing process and explore the writing process in general by looking at the variations that make each journey distinct.

 

The Initial Spark: Inspiration At the heart of every written work lies the initial spark of inspiration. For some authors, inspiration strikes like a lightning bolt, igniting a story that demands to be told. Others might embark on a deliberate quest for inspiration, seeking it through observation, research, or personal experiences. For me, I might hear a phrase that sparks a book title, or a snippet of experience someone had. Sometimes my story ideas come from dreams. Regardless of the method, this pivotal moment not only gets the creative process started but it can also set the tone for the entire story.

From Chaos to Structure: Planning and Organization Once inspired, writers often face the challenge of taming the chaos of their ideas into a coherent structure. Some writers are meticulous planners who outline their stories, breaking down chapters and plot points before the writing even begins. This approach provides a roadmap, minimizing the risk of getting lost along the way.

Conversely, the 'pantser' approach is favored by those who thrive on spontaneity. These authors dive headfirst into their writing, allowing the story to unfold naturally as they navigate through each twist and turn.


I am definitely a pantser and I love writing this way because being a pantser can lead to surprising plot and character developments. But mostly I've found that writing in pantser mode places me within the story as if I'm in virtual reality of the story. I get more emotionally and physically embedded in the storyline and characters. Which I believe strongly creates the "voice" of the story.

The First Draft: Embrace the Imperfection

Completing the first draft is a significant milestone, but it sure can be a messy journey. I've been brought to tears by the mess. But, I have learned to absolutely embrace the imperfection and let the story roll out of my head whatever form it takes.


It's important though, to understand that the first draft is not meant to be perfect; it's a raw, unpolished version of your creative process. Similar to a chef trying out a new recipe, or a painter beginning their masterpiece, the first version is undoubtedly not the last. Tweaks and corrections take place in an iterative manner to create the finished products.


Some writers opt to power through the entire draft before revising, while others may revise as they go, refining each paragraph before moving forward.


I tend to do both of these. Sometimes I find the writing flows out so easily, I just write. Other times, I do go back and re-read; and it's this part that puts me on the path to in-process revisions.


Maybe I'd be better off following a routine and standard on the revising front. I think that by experiencing revision both ways, during writing and after the first draft, has honed my craft for the good and I find now that I'm much more efficient with revision now than I used to be.


The Crucial Revision: Polishing the Gem

Revision is where the real magic happens. Authors sculpt and refine their work, shaping it into its final form. This phase involves not only correcting grammar and syntax but also delving into character development, pacing, and thematic consistency. Some writers relish in the revision process. I am not one of them. I have found it to be a daunting task that requires detachment from my original words. Sometimes I divorce myself completely from the work for long stretches of time and work on other project ideas and WIP's.


But once I return to it, I am refreshed and energized with new vision and a better understanding of where I've been and where I want to go.

Variations in Genre and Medium I write in several genres and find this requires a difference in my mindset as I go. It's essential to recognize that the writing process isn't one-size-fits-all; it varies across genres and mediums. Writing a novel demands a different approach than crafting a short story, and both differ from the intricacie

s of writing non-fiction or poetry. Although I have to say, the only way I write poetry is when the entire piece bubbles up in my brain and has to be released on the page. I've never set out to write a poem based on an idea. But trust me when I say, I highly doubt this is the typical method for writing poetry. I secretly would love to have a conversation with past and present poets to understand their methods.


My main writing genres are Middle Grades Autobiographical Fiction, Memoir, and I'm dabbling in Science Fiction as well. I love coming to understand the different hats I need to wear for each genre I write in. It's as if I'm an actor playing different types of roles.

The Art of Writing

The writing process is a testament to the uniqueness of every writer's creative journey. From the spark of inspiration to the final revision, each writer's process is marked by individuality and creativity, and an unyielding commitment to storytelling. And yes, the writing process includes the strife and frustration we all experience at times.


As readers, we are fortunate to witness the culmination of these diverse processes in the books that enrich our lives, reminding us that there are countless paths to creating a masterpiece.


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