Jan 18, 2011

What's Your Process Blogfest

Hosted by Shallee of Life, The Universe and Writing.

Life of this writer. My most creative hours are morning. I'm fresh. Words flow free.

Ideas and inspiration come throughout the day, however. Usually while doing something mundane - making dinner, working out, driving, reading, right before I fall asleep, in the middle of the night, watching TV / movies and in conversations with others. Although I will act on the inspiration, writing is mostly a daytime activity for me. When my brain feels spent for the day in wordsmithing, I print out what I wrote. I read it in the evening and edit it with a pen. In the morning I begin with inputting those edits. When a chapter feels done, I move on. Usually takes several days to a week or two in the revision phase.

With the next novel, I plan to move much faster in the first draft phase. Doesn't mean I will. I do a lot more organizing and planning at the revision phase - chapter outlines, character studies and the like. I just prepare the minimal basics for a first draft - main characters, setting, needed research and plot. I need to know where I'm going to end up before I can start. I need a 'purpose' or aim to write toward. Otherwise, I feel I'm wasting my time.

In the submission process, I send a few out at a time then wait for the replies. I've been tweaking / rewriting before doing another round. But that's about to change. I've learned a lot since my first stories and the first ones have been so through the revision wringer, they're done.

I deal with rejection by sending out more submissions / queries. I've gotten some very interesting rejection. Most times they use my name these days. One said my story was not for them, but told me to keep submitting it; that it was sure to sell. So, that was nice and encouraging. I've gotten a few requests for revisions and resubs. Several times I was in serious running. Those are probably the most disappointing rejections - to know I was that close. Yet they are also encouraging and keep me going.

Rejection is all right. Means I'm in the game. Many kind editors have given me personal feedback along the way, which is as rare as a 'yes'. Learning to master the short story are skills I can bring into my novel writing. It's certainly helped me to hone my pitching skills.

My process for reading in public - take a deep breath, place husband in the audience and go for it. I had him video my readings for awhile. By watching myself and by watching other people, I improved a lot. I actually enjoy reading my work now.

What about you all? How do you handle the rejection-love? Have you tackled the reading in public beast yet? What's your golden hour for wordsmithing?