Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Writing Process

Throughout college, I would hear the phrase “use the writing process” on a daily basis. I’m not sure why, but the word “process” made the whole thing seem a bit intimidating. I’ve been writing all my life, but I’ve never followed a how-to guide on it. However, when I actually stopped and thought about it, of course I had a writing process. It was just unique to me and not outlined in a book. My writing process starts with an idea. I don’t sit around trying to come up with something, the stories just come to me. Usually I discover that the ideas sound better in my head than on paper (which is why I have so many unfinished projects). This time, however, I feel that the idea transferred from my head to the paper rather well.


After coming up with the idea, I was off to do a little research. My completed project, a middle grade historical fiction book, is called Pocahontas and the Gift of Peace. I wanted the book to be based on factual events that occurred during Pocahontas’ time on the English settlement of Henricus (now the city of Henrico). Therefore, research was a very important element in my process. When my initial research was complete, I decided to get to know my characters. A well-rounded character is more than a name. With well-rounded characters, the readers can connect with them because their appearance and personality is so apparent. A character’s personality can be shown by the way they think, speak to other characters, or actions they choose to do. Although my two main characters are both 12-year-old girls, they are from different time periods. I wanted their speech and actions to reflect their own time period and emphasize their differences.


The next part of my writing process strays from what you would learn in school. Since I had already seen the entire story play out in my head, I did not see a reason to make myself an outline. I actually did something that I have never done before. I created a Table of Contents before I actually wrote the book. I know it sounds odd, it still does to me. But it worked. Creating the Table of Contents helped me separate the story already ingrained into my brain into sections. I feel that it also helped me condense some areas that I may have drawn out if I had written it for older kids. With the research, characters, and story all situated in my head, it was time to write.


For those of you who don’t know, this book is actually part of a series. So while writing, I had fun throwing in subtle tidbits and new characters that would reoccur in different books. It will be interesting to see if people actually make the connections later down the road. With the writing complete, the hard part begins. Editing! In my mind, editing your own work is not fun. It is a very tricky process because most of the time your brain knows what you intended to say, so it doesn’t always see the mistakes. Thankfully, I had great family and friends edit it with me. When everyone was done with their copy, I compiled all the corrections to make a final draft.

23 comments:

Truthful Mommy said...

Thanks for following. I am following back from Friday Follow. Great idea for documenting your writing journey!
DEbi(Truthful Mommy)

Mommy's Life Makeover said...

Thanks for stopping by Mommy's Life Makeover! The follow button is back up if you're interested - not sure what I am majoring in English and do a lot of writing, so I'm interested to see another perspective!!!

Letherton said...

I stumbled across your blog and wanted to say hi.
Take a minute an check my blog out
I have lots of great giveaways going on.
Thanks :)

ethertonphotography.blogspot.com

Ron Cooper said...

Enjoyed reading your recounting of a writer's journey.

I’m your latest Friday Follower! I would appreciate a follow-back on Google Friends Connect and/or Networked Blogs.

http://inspiredbyron.blogspot.com/

http://apps.facebook.com/blognetworks/blog/inspire_343432/


Ron

Rebecca said...

Follow you through Follow Friday! You can follow me back at http://beyondmeasuring.blogspot.com

Good luck on your journey!

Ashley said...

Happy Friday Follow :) http://mommyandchild.blogspot.com

Heather said...

I found you on Follow Me Friday.

It is nice to meet you. I hope you will stop by sometimes.

Have a great weekend.

Alecia @ Savings and Stewardship said...

Happy Friday Follow! I'm your newest following friend. I'd love for you to drop by my blog sometime & return the favor. We're also hosting a great GIVEAWAY for a Pampered Chef Trifle Bowl - ends Sat (4/24) and doesn't have many entries - so your odds are good :). Please, stop by and enter to win - a quick link to it can be found in my top right sidebar! Hope you're looking forward to a great weekend!

http://savingsandstewardship.blogspot.com

H said...

Following from Friday Follow. Can't wait to read more as an aspiring writer myself.

The Graves Family (Monkey Tales) said...

follow you from follow friday!! I would love if you could come follow my blog!
mylittlestgravesies.blogspot.com

Have a wonderful weekend!

Colleen @ MuralMaker&More said...

Following you from Friday Follow. Great blog. I'm getting more and more into different writing projects. Love what I see on your blog!

MaggiesJewelry said...

I really liked this post--I kind of get hit with inspiration at the oddest moments. Sometimes a song will put a scene in my head or a place I visit can do the same. Also, a smell often triggers a few lines of dialogue. I enjoyed reading this immensely and Thanks for the follow on Maggiejewely.blogspot.com

:)

Huckleberrygal said...

Hi Kelly,

Thanks for the follow and I am following you now. Nice blog; I haven't seen many on the journey of writing so it is refreshing to see :)!

Have a great weekend,
Diana

http://huckleberryhome.blogspot.com/

Krissy @ ArtsyMom said...

Following from Friday Follow :) Hope you stop by and do the same!

http://theartsymom.tk

Dawna said...

Hi, Kelly! I came across your blog from the Friday Follow and will be following you in the future. I, too, am an innate writer... Writing is in my blood and has been since I was very young...

I look forward to reading more from you in the future!

Brenda Susan said...

Hi I'm from Friday Followers & I love to write so your blog looks interesting! I'll be back!

Denise said...

Following you from Friday Follow!

Stop by and enter my giveaway for Rachael Ray Bakeware:
http://extremepersonalmeasures.blogspot.com/2010/04/do-you-know-about-family-of-csn-stores.html

tsue said...

I enjoyed exploring your blog. Following from Friday Follow. Please stop by when you can.

http://tsue-thatswhatshesaid.blogspot.com

MelissaAggie98 said...

You've got a really great blog here!

Happy FF! If you get a chance, please follow me too at http://www.mommylivingthelifeofriley.com

Have a great weekend!

1001tears said...

Thanks for following! Following you back.

Amy
www.1001tears.blogspot.com

Bob West said...

I enjoyed your blog! Very insightful
Hopefully you will appreciate mine
Jesus Lives
God Bless, Bob West
http://westbob.blogspot.com/2010/04/line-upon-line.html

Wendy said...

Kel,
Didn't know until I got your email that you'd started this writing blog! As a fellow writer, and one who writes "to change lives" I was overjoyed to attend a Writers Conference on just that subject this past weekend, with author/speaker James Watkins. I came away with a lot of good ideas, and encouragement. God gives dreams, and wants to see them become reality. I look forward to supporting one another on this journey of seeing our dreams realized, in His strength, and in His time.
Blessings,
Wendy
Faith's Firm Foundation
www.wendygunn.net

Kel said...

Thanks Wendy! I would love to to trade ideas, support, and encouragement with you. I also have some outlines for a few books that would fit into the Women of Faith category. Once I find some extra time (like when my littlest starts preschool), I'll start working on those. I would love hear about your projects sometime.