The Sweetie Chronicles

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

Understanding My Process

When I decided to try my hand at writing books, I started reading things and hearing things about "finding your process." Everyone talks about how every writer has their own process, or way of producing. For some people, the best thing to do when you have a solid idea is to sit down and start writing. Pantsers, they are called, because they fly by the seat of their pants. They know that eventually a story will be formed out of their ramblings and that is all they need to know when they start. They don't care usually if they have to cut 30,000 words later, they just write like the wind.

Plotters are different. They sit down and plot out their story ahead of time, making sure they understand where the conflict is and who the characters are. They spend days and weeks working on the details of how the story will unfold and how their world will be formed before ever writing a single word of actually story.

I am a plotter for sure. I tried the pantser route, but it's just too scary right now for me. When I came to the end of the novel, I had no idea what to do with it or where the story could go, because I had never visualized an ending or planned a plot line. Now, I try to work it all out before I start writing. That way, I have a plan, and i feel like I am in control. If something needs to change because I decided along the way to change the plot, that's fine. I'm free to make adjustments. I just like to have an idea of where I am going when I start so I know that somewhere there will be an end to the story.

Of course, not all plotters have the same "process". Some people get up early and work from 5-10 or something (a.m.) while others work into the late night hours. Some have full time jobs and have to work in the evenings and on weekends. But figuring out the ideal process is not something that comes overnight. As for me, I am still trying to figure it out. I think the main thing for me is just to set a word count goal or some other production goal for myself every single day. Sometimes giving myself rewards when I reach a milestone seems to work. Like, for example, when I get to 25,000 words (which is halfway through this current book), I get $10 to spend at Staples on post it notes or something. Or when I get to 50,000 words, maybe I get a special Hello Kitty prize or a new cd I've been wanting. That's part of my process. Goal and Reward.

I am up a bit early today to try my hand at writing earlier or at least not sleeping in as late. I need to get started with the writing though to see how it goes. My goals right now include revising and rewriting my 50,000 word manuscript targetted toward Silhouette Desire so that I can get it to an agent and the senior editor both by August 7th. My more specific goal is to get 5000 words a day revised and on the final copy. I know I can do it.

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Sarra Cannon

Young Adult Indie Author

I always secretly wanted to be a cheerleader. And a witch. Now, I write about both. The first five novels in my Peachville High Demons Young Adult Paranormal series are available now in ebook!

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Beautiful DemonsThe Time Traveler's WifeLoveroot: PoemsFear of FlyingWe the LivingAnthem

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