I’m starting this as I start working on Book 3 of my Fantasy Series (August 2015). I’ve tried writing it out before, but I keep forgetting all sorts of steps.
I believe the fashionable term for my writing style is “organic,” but some call it disorganized.
1 – Get hit upside the head with an idea by a muse. Hopefully not in a dark alley somewhere. Talk to myself a lot because of the resultant head trauma.
2 – Write that crap down. Sometimes it’s a few pages (pre-rough draft), sometimes I get hit hard and slam out 250-350 pages in a month (minimum rough draft length). It depends on the idea and how intensely it blows my skirt up and whether or not the muse stays the whole time or if she’s just in it for a quickie. Conversations with invisible people continues. Sometimes they answer back, but that might be due to the insomnia. Or the head trauma. Which one gives you headaches, again?
3 – When I’m ready to actually play with the pre-rough/notes draft, print it out. Or sort through my handwritten files of notes and try to make sense of them. Or both. Sometimes I have to do both. Talking to my imaginary friends is no longer a part-time thing. Have to continuously remind myself not to do so in front of a live audience (kids, other parents waiting to pick up their kids at school, my husband, etc.). Deny the need for a medical evaluation or an MRI to determine the exact nature of any head injury I may or may not remember.
4 – Scribble all over the pre-rough draft idea pages. Wonder what the hell was I thinking? At this point, if the sexy muse stayed around for longer than a breath mint, she has run off and left me with her not-so-sexy PA. No, I don’t suffer from hallucinations. Why?
5 – Go to the electronic file and start editing to turn pre-rough draft into a real rough draft. 1/2 to 3/4 of the pre-rough draft is thrown out. About half the scribbled notes that are all over the pre-rough draft are also thrown out as I re-write it all. The muse’s PA is irritating and will not shut up. The children report to Daddy the next time he’s home that Mommy occasionally yells at invisible people.
6 – Complain about lack of time, other people’s understanding or lack thereof, having to take care of kids/house/yard/car/husband/insert-real-world-issue-here. By this time, real-world people are used to my chatting incessantly to imaginary people, but because I’m not physically violent, real-world people have chosen to simply ignore me whenever I speak.
7 – Finish the rough draft. Wonder why it’s so quiet in here.
8 – Read the rough draft digitally, try not to edit too heavily. Did the PA leave for vacation and not tell me? Or did she tell me she was leaving and I just don’t remember?
9 – When I finally realize I’m trying to heavily edit the rough draft, I then print out the rough draft and slap it into a labeled binder.
10 – Ignore the rough draft. Deny it exists. Avoid eye contact. Hide it somewhere I won’t forget about it (I don’t actually do that – because then I’d really lose it.). Call the PA and leave irritating messages for her to find the other Muse and get her over here so’s I can work on other stuff. Or the PA can come back to work herself. Whichever – I’m a little more flexible at this stage.
11 – Get pissy because my muses and their PA are ignoring my calls. Look at my husband incredulously when he asks “What PA? You don’t have a PA,” when I complain that I should fire that lazy twit for not returning my calls. Ignore my husband when he gently suggests (again) that I seek “professional help.”
And that’s about as far as I can go at this time. More later when I get there.