Thursday, September 24, 2009

My New Invention: The Script Method for Novel Writing (Part I)

Okay, okay, someone is going to call me on this. I discovered long ago that there are NO original ideas. I'm always getting the wind knocked out of my sails by discovering I really didn't think of a grand idea first. But, for me anyway, this qualifies as a grand idea.

As usual, the crew from the blog Romance Writer's Revenge, inspired me. Today's topic on revision covered the writing phase before revision and how we may have adjusted our writing process as we've grown. A question raised: How do we write differently with manuscript #2 compared to manuscript #1? And I discovered I was rather opposite than most. Again, I'm sure I'm not alone, just as I'm sure I have no original ideas. (Do you get the idea that I'm very humbled by the writing process? LOL) Anyway, whereas some writers determine with the 2nd to to be a revise-as-they-go type of writer - - to minimize revisions, of course - - I went the other direction. With manuscript #1 under my belt and on to the next I realize I've drastically changed my approach.

I realize just now that I need to split this into two, possibly three, parts. I'm getting to my title, my invention (LOL), in Part II, but first, I need to lead up to it. So, to backtrack...

During the first manuscript, I wrote in a linear fashion and I definitely revised as I went along. No moving forward until I'd revised it to death. No skipping around. I went from idea to a fairly clean first draft. And there was still plenty of revision to be done. Finally, somehow, I finished. This statement may ruin my credibility for some, but the fact is, it took me YEARS to finish my first manuscript.

I began my second manuscript, my current WIP, the same way. Granted, it went faster simply because I was making fewer mistakes. I would hope so, because the years crafting the first were also filled with learning. (And with life, so that is another valid excuse!) So, back on subject, I made good progress up to about chapter four. Then I was stuck. I was stuck for months. I needed to do something different and I think I did find a better process.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm still humble. LOL I do know that for every writer they have to find what works best for them. I'm also aware, and feel I have to state as a sort of disclaimer, that I have NOT, as yet, finished my second manuscript. Another blow to my credibility, yes, I know. As yet another disclaimer, there might not be any skipping ahead to a right method. By this, I mean I had to learn what I know. Even though my favorite question to a published writer regarding the writing process is "what do you know now that you wish you knew then?," it is probably a very silly question. I've never really received a good answer. It's likely an impossible question to answer and make applicable from one author to another.

However, I'm just so much happier to be a writer now. The love/hate relationship with writing is much more consistantly a love. And part of it has to be the changing of my process, the freedom of non-linear writing and the adding of two distinct steps. 1) A ROUGH draft and 2) A First Revision from the rough draft. Ultimately, the goal is still the same; a clean First Draft.

Thats it? More work, you ask? Yep, that's it. For Part II, if you haven't thrown your hands up in disgust, it's about how more work leads to consistent writing and finishing sooner. Enjoying the process even. And part of that is non-linear writing and having a rough draft that is written like a script. My way, anyway. :) It's just about trying a different method. Either it works or it doesn't. More coming in Part II and the details of The Script Method for Novel Writing.

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