Confession time, kiddies: I like to mess with my Infernal Editor. Really, really mess with him. Like, as soon as he reaches for the door handle I zoom off leaving him in the street. It may be evil, but it’s FUN. And lawdy knows the little twerp deserves it.
One of the pitfalls of having an Infernal Editor is he’s the twisted little repository of my geek complex. He’s the side of me who likes to arrange, and organize, and keep things in their neat little cubby holes. This is why he’s so good at seeding doubt during the creative process. “What are you doing? Don’t do that. It’s wrong. WRONG, dammit!”, etc.
He has his place, but it is definitely not in the creative realm. He’s much better suited for the revision and editing process. (Personally, I prefer his place to be in my rearview mirror, but that’s just me.)
I mess with him by letting him think I begin my writing process for the day by engaging in a neat, logical little exercise. He’s as OCD as a vampire and loves him a good list. He also likes categorizing things and putting them in their proper places, and is driven insane when I try to write anything out of order.
Beginning with the scene I need to work on for the day, I’ll start with what The Weekend Novelist calls “Spinning Down the Page”. I’ll jot down Action/Image/Dialogue in one-line, abbreviated snippits, leaving lots of white space. I like to use a steno or legal pad so I can flip pages quickly. The Infernal Editor thinks I’m still planning at this point. HA! Silly Infernal Editor. 😀
Then something magical happens, like a Patronus Charm against the
Ringwraiths Dementors that are Infernal Editors everywhere. Before I know it, I’m no longer able to keep to snippets. The dam bursts. Suddenly the Divine Muse is cooking on all eight cylinders and I’m forming whole sentences, paragraphs, pages. CHAPTERS.
The next day, before I begin any drafting, I settle myself into the right mindset by typing what I wrote the day before into the computer, and then I begin the process all over again.
Y’all, I completed Chapter One for Waking Muse #1 in a matter of hours doing this. I finished Act I in ONE WEEK. During the week I usually manage a scene a day or so, but I’ve been on a serious roll–on Monday I was up at 1:30 am, still going at it. On Tuesday it was 12:30 am. Spinning down the page is an effective, unobtrusive shift from brainstorming specifics for a scene to the actual writing. Even if you force yourself to keep to snippets, you still have a workable outline on hand. (Imagine doing this for a whole book before beginning the drafing process!) My Infernal Editor doesn’t know what him, but he’s willing to bet from the tire marks on his face that it was a Ferrari.
IN PRODUCTION: Brighid’s Mark (Keepers #2)–I recently received my production packets from Publisher Amazing, so I completed and returned them to Editor Awesome. This is one of my favorite parts of the process. I get to provide character intel/reference material, cover art ideas (*FLAIL*), and jacket copy with series information. It’s when I get to spill all the development work I did prior to drafting. And yes, I get to include pictures and links–in fact, the more the better. Squee!
*Note to my fellow Word Wranglers who HATE doing queries and synopses: it’s not so bad when you know this stuff is going to get used. Your query blurb gets used for jacket copy and your synopsis gets sent to Publicity & Marketing and the Cover Art department (and the cover artist themselves!). So, yeah–you end up using this stuff beyond your query packet. An agent will use this stuff to submit to editors on your behalf.
Drafting: Waking Muse #1–The word count is coming along nicely, as indicated above. There’s no reason that at the rate I’m going that I shouldn’t be able to finish a rough draft by the end of the month, though I remain cautiously optimistic. I found myself writing after midnight earlier this week without realizing what time it was–it was 1:30am on a work night before I crashed and burned. All longhand–I didn’t get on the computer once. SCORE!!
Revisions: The rough draft for Keepers #3 is indeed rough, y’all. Really, really rough. As in OW OW OW CHARLIE HORSE! So I have my work cut out for me to get a serviceable draft in to Stunt Cate, Beta Reader Extraordinaire, before too long. That way I can do a cleanup pass before submitting to Editor Awesome in August. Eep!
I’ve now added a “Contact Cate” page to the roster up top, in case you’re interested in getting on my ARC/Book Blogger list, want me for a guest blog (what are you–crazy?!), or just want to ask me a question or leave a comment. There’s a contact form and everything. It’s shiny.
So them’s the deets, folks–how’d you do this week?