I’m regularly asked about my writing process. In a recent comment, Anil asked a series of questions. Here are my responses:
Anil: I was wondering if you pre-write your material in advance, or schedule your writing sessions?
Forthy: This sounds wishy-washy, but it really depends. Unless an author lands a serial gig, our original stories don’t see the light of day until we have a completed manuscript. So I do a whole lot of pre-writing. Fandom is a refreshing exception. I usually write and post a chapter in one sitting. (Instant gratification!) As an example, when Lord Charming wraps up and I pick up Savvy again, I’ll polish/post new installments on Thursdays. So I’m scheduled to play with wolves on Thursday mornings. ::twinkle::
Anil: If so, how?
Forthy: Yes, I have a schedule. I write every day. Usually 6-8 hours, depending on how long it takes me to hit my goals.
Anil: Also do you plan out your stories using a story outline or is it a general idea?
Forthy: I establish a loose framework for my stories, but I don’t outline every little thing. (I’m a pantser with plantser leanings.) My stories tend to take interesting turns during the writing process, and I love those crazy surprises. Let’s say, for example, that I was planning a multi-book series for my fandom friends. ::winkwinknudgenudge:: I would definitely decide where major plot points, character introductions, romantic entanglements, and reveals should happen along the way. But when it comes to writing the individual books, I’ll cheerfully pants my way through.
Anil: Lastly, how do you post chapters with writer’s block, or when the result isn’t up to your personal standard?
Forthy: I don’t believe in writer’s block, but I’ve certainly hit the occasional snag. In my experience, if a scene stalls out, something’s amiss with characterization. It’s as if I’ve realized on a subconscious level that my cast Would Not Do that which has been done. When I back up two or three paragraphs and take another run at the scene, choosing a different course, the problem vanishes. And as far as sub-standard results… well, that’s what the editing process is for. Once you have a scene down, it’s fixable. Tweak it. (There should be a Rule against foisting lackluster drivel on readers. I’m as choosy a reader as I am a writer!)
If you have other writing-related questions for me, toss them in comments. I may answer directly or make them the subject of a future blog post. ::twinkle::