It is always fascinating to me how authors do what they do. Every writer is different and therefore, every process is different too. I also love getting to know other cool authors (yes, I am cool). So please welcome Meg Winkler to my blog today. I love her humor :)
As you may have guessed, it takes a good sense of humor to be a writer. At least in my experience, things never go according to plan and you have to be flexible with your characters and your process. And then there’s that evil demon Writer’s Block lurking in the corner that you have to deal with. My writing process is different from anyone else's; it has to be. Although I’d like to offer a piece of advice on how to write, I fully understand that what works for me may not work for you. So instead, I’ll just tell you what I do and maybe you can apply it to your own writing.
Play it Again, Sam (although it should be noted that Bogie never said this)
Music fuels my writing to such a degree that every WIP (work in progress) has a “theme song.” I play hard rock when I write a fight scene, soft tunes when writing a love scene, sad tracks when I’m writing something particularly gut-wrenching, and I’ll admit that I have a playlist specifically named “Creepy Vampire Music.”
What Would Jack Do?
We all have moments when we’re stuck in traffic, waiting around at the doctor’s office, or shopping for groceries. In these times, I try to think about what my characters would do in a given situation. Would Sophie from Wake of Darkness like the song on the radio? What kinds of cuisine would her boyfriend Alexander be into? I think about what Bryn (WIP character) would do if backed into a corner, or what Angel (another WIP character) would think if someone confessed their love for her. This helps me get into their heads, to really figure out who these characters are.
Time Isn’t Linear
I mean, seriously, the 10th Doctor had it right. For me, writing isn’t linear; it’s not a start-to-finish kind of thing. I think of situations and scenes and write them. Then I go back and piece them together so that the flow makes sense. I usually rewrite stories once or twice because the characters never end up the way they started. Oh, and I never use an outline.
If you’re a writer, you just have to figure out what works for you. It’s one of those things that can’t be taught, only discovered. There’s no short-cutting the writing process, and there’s only one way to figure out how it works for you: Simply do it.
Meg Winkler is an author, editor, freelance writer, military historian, and coffee junkie. She is the author of Transmissions from Dating Land, Wake of Darkness, and co-author of Ruins of North Texas. She writes everything from college anatomy courses and psychology curriculum to fine wine, interior décor, and event planning coffee-table books to pay the bills, but it is her work as an indie author and publisher that keeps her coming back to the keyboard after 12-hour days. Her upcoming novel, Revolution 2 is set to release Summer 2013.