Thursday, March 01, 2007

everyone has her own road to success

Brian at Plan B has posted a peek at his writing process, and I'm inspired to do the same.

My writing process:
1. Write a list of 20 story ideas.
2. Make notes on the 20 ideas.
3. Look a couple of days later at the 20 ideas and decide that several of them are silly; and that several of them are like something you or someone else wrote already; and that another several of them are unworkable. Decide that the one you like the best is not a short story--it should really be a novel.
4. Mope; check out All My Children--is it true that Dixie is dead? has anyone actually seen the body?
5. Take a look at the notes (see 2). One sounds not impossible--a story about a girl who takes the elevator up and down in her pajamas: it could be quirky, symbolically freighted, a story of its times. Write 500 words of beginning.
6. Pick up the girl in pajamas story--but today it seems stale and fruitless. Decide instead to do the story about the woman who was kicked out of the convent, and who later decided to be a stripper.
7. Realize that you know nothing about either convents or stripping. Go to the library and check out all the books they have on nuns and sex workers.
8. Immerse yourself in research. Take lots of notes. Be glad you didn't have a vocation, and that you wouldn't have had the nerve to be a stripper.
9. Decide that the nun/stripper story should really be a novel.
10. Write a poem about the process of writing in which it is compared to a black, bottomless lake with leaden waves falling ceaselessly against a grimy shore.
11. Ask yourself if it's too late to go to law school. You hear there's a lot of reading--you're good at reading. (What is a tort?)
12. Start again at 1.

9 Comments:

Blogger Brian Kornell said...

Your process is much more effective than my staring/beat yourself up method. I like the list and note taking idea and will steal it.

3/02/2007 10:01 AM  
Anonymous Jade Park said...

lucette! you are brilliant--I read yours and realized, "You know, I NEVER do Number 2" (make notes about the ideas). And I am going to try doing that--I think it will make all the difference for me, especially as I re-engage in writing fiction again.

I have written down ideas...and then in the past, just gone with them as far as I could. That's not as easy for me anymore, so you're a big help. :)

3/02/2007 11:17 AM  
Blogger lucette said...

BK: there is beating yourself up in my method--I thought it was implied!
Jade: I don't think I used to do notes either--I might have started doing them the 1st time I worked on a novel. It was such a daunting project that I had to approach it slowly, hence the notes. But then I found they work for stories as well.

3/02/2007 6:08 PM  
Blogger nova said...

What a fantastic post. So funny! And so honest and blunt. I love it.

3/03/2007 9:47 AM  
Blogger Annie Wicking & Loman Austen said...

Hi
I love it when I find other people like myself who enjoy writing and work full-time.
It's hard when all you want to do is write.

Best wishes,
Annie

3/03/2007 12:00 PM  
Blogger K-Oh said...

Ah, I love your list! So that's why you were reading all those books about nuns.

Hmmm-- don't think what I do even qualifies as a system.

3/04/2007 4:36 PM  
Blogger Gina Ventre said...

I do the research part too. And then I pretend that everything, besides writing, is research.

I mope about all of it in the car.

3/05/2007 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i dated a stripper once.

NOT FUN, glad you dont have the nerve

L,

Sean

3/08/2007 1:57 PM  
Blogger Voicegal said...

I voice coached a stripper once. She gave me a full sized autographed naked photo of herself as thanks. (True!)

3/12/2007 2:36 PM  

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