With all this taking it easy though, I realize it's been a while since my last post! So here's one on "writing process" I wrote a while back. It kind of fits with my R & R frame of mind.
Even if I've long ago discovered that "a writing process" will change with each story, I still have this fantasy about finding a method to my madness. I imagine how nice it would be to have a process as easy as a "walk in the park." And by this, I mean a very well designed park, with minimal backtracking.
Sure, I know I will veer off the beaten path, but I want to feel that sense of order. I want trail markers. I want to know how long this path will be...how rough is the terrain...how far from civilization will it take me? Will it loop back or connect to another trail? I want to know as much as I can about a lot of things.
Other things I'm okay with not knowing. I want to exit the main trail because it tempts me with unknown possibilities. But I also like setting off with some reassurance there will be a marker down there somewhere on the branching path that will direct me back to the main trail.
I'm a wanna-be plotter. I want to be linear. But more often than not, the early scenes for a story that pop into my head takes place somewhere off the beaten path. The first scene I think of for a story might be destined for page 20 or 220. It is what it is. I create the map after the fact, from the inside out.
At this point I need a bit of a reminder that it is rare for a writing process to be all I think it should be. I have so many doubts about my process that I feel the need to go back to the basics for reassurance.
Ironically, in a document called "Three Steps to the Writing Process," a caveat to the basic steps fit what I wanted to hear. I liked it so much that I substituted the word"book" for "theme" and got an interesting result:
Writing a fully developed
--(John C. Bean and John D. Ramage, Form and Surprise in Composition: Writing and Thinking Across the Curriculum, New York: Macmillan, 1986, 10-11). The full text of this .pdf document does focus on a term paper, but if you want to look: Three Steps to the Writing Process
For some reason this amuses me. Because apparently, it's very easy to say "three steps" to...well...anything! The only thing you need to do is keep in mind that "the stages always overlap, and they are full of starts and stops and loops backward." It is, in fact, like a walk in a park.
So it looks like I'm doing it right after all. Might as well keep going, right?