If you are at all like me writing happens in stages which each stage goes through phases. What I mean is our writing process is about as complicated as mastering the entire pattern for the number pi. ( I had a teacher once who knew 20 of the numbers based on every student that he failed.) Needless to say, writing has to come from the heart because if it doesn’t then the words feel more bland, and forced than feeling effortless. I would like to say the stages of writing get easier as we age but it’s quite the opposite. The easiest time we have with writing is when we let the words flow onto the page without much of a filter.
Stage One- The Daunting blank page
Every writer fears the blank page. We fear it because it stares us down pretending to taunt our brain. The very first phase here for a writer is that we must not allow the page to rule us. A blank page can make us forfeit any ideas we have because we overthink the process. Any writing is better than no writing at all. Your fight with the blank page is like battling a dragon, and not having a sword. Your only weapon is your mind. Our minds create worlds, words, and places that people have never uncovered. If you don’t write on that blank page we may never see the world you want to create. The blank page before you can be utilized in many ways. Some of the ways I use a blank page is to either start my story first with just writing until I can’t write anymore or by creating an outline for the story. Personally, I hate outlines as they just make a set response for the entire story. I believe in surprises as a writer. I want the reader as surprised as I am. One mistake we make is that every word needs to be perfect. It does not. Write. Get the basic ideas down, and then edit it later.
Stage Two- The first chapter, or sentence
Most of us get locked down by trying to start a story with an amazing opening line. This can bring us back to the daunting blank page. But generally, the first sentence is easy. We can start the story but as we write that first chapter we can get lost. Or we can feel like the story is starting to overwhelm us. We want to place notes on the side to keep our memory of the story in place, and we want to make an outline. But when we do this we are distracting our main point. The story. If you write the story with no distraction, and no particular aim the story will come out raw and fast. Once you have your first story you have the aim to edit the story. But you must first surpass the first chapter. When you pass this phase we can gain more understanding of our process. I tend to like background noises when I write. I use either music or Netflix for my background noise. ( Right now, I am watching the first season of Lost Girl. If you haven’t watched it …you should. It’s great for a Syfy series.)
Stage Three- The climax which is as hard to get as sex
A climax in a story can be as exciting as sex. I mean we are building an entire story upon this one climax so it better be as great as sex. The road to get to the climax of the story can be about as difficult as our fight in sex. It should be. We have written so much already that the climax of the story should build us up with excitement so we can travel to the end of the story. In this phase, we are officially half way through a very hard trek. But alas, all that build up will make it easier to write the end of the story.
Stage four- the ending is only the beginning
Our ending for the story should only lead to a new beginning. A writer should always start a new story at the end of the old one. It doesn’t have to follow the same story-line or involve the same information. But now that the story is done there are still small changes to be made. However, you should start another project while working on making a finished draft of the story. Always keep writing. Don’t just stop after one book.
I like to call the final phase our editing stage. We continually edit the story till it comes out perfect. Do not worry about perfect. Get the story out the way you feel it should. Get advice on what works, and what didn’t work for the editing stage. Don’t just rely on yourself. You will edit the story about fifteen times before you feel it’s right. ( Maybe more if you’re like me.)
Anyways, these are my phases of writing. If there is anything that you wish to add please comment. I will gladly add the info to the post so we can create a post with help. I will have a post on my first chapter up for Into the Gray tomorrow. It will have edits.
Here are some neat little you tube videos to go along with my words: