Saturday, 6 February 2010
Stage Two of the Writing Process: Writing
This is it. The moment I've been waiting for since an idea appeared in my head. This is the time to tell the story. To write. To let the creativity pour out of me. Without restraint. Without worrying about the final result. This is the time to immerse in the world where my characters and I are the only people in existence. Ironically, this is also the shortest of the three stages. I finished the first draft of my current WIP in November for NaNo. Entire draft in a month. Of course that was a bit extreme case, but say even if I were to do it on a more slower basis, in terms of overall hours, it wouldn't take much longer. Having an outline definitely makes it easier, because I don't have to stop to worry about how I am going to move forward. To avoid internal editor from switching on, I open a new document for each of my outline point. I copy a point in the new document, so I can see it as I write, and make sure I don't miss anything. Of course sometimes I may add things that are not included in the outline point, but that's okay. When I am done with that scene, I delete the outline bit, close the document and open a new one for the next point. I find this works better than writing it all in one big document, because then the temptation to go up a page and check/change something is too great. As a rule, I don't change anything as I am writing, even if I know it's wrong. For example, in my NaNo novel, I realised half-way through the book that one of my supportive character's name changed after a few chapters. Instead of going back to all the scenes that he was in, I left it there. When I started editing, it was one of the first things to be corrected. Of course there are exceptions. If I have written/changed something about the scene I am writing or the scene right before, and if it's a small thing, then I might go and change it then and there. The point is not to get bogged down by editing. Writing process must flow fast and smooth. I have found that this works for me. The purpose of the first draft is to get the whole story out. Once it's there on the page, it can be revised and made better. But it needs to be there first. I tried using yWriter and Liquid Story Binder, but in the end, I found MS Word works best for me. For any kind of lists I need, like a list of characters, I use Excel. MS Office covers all I need, and I suppose because I have been using it for years, I am comfortable and familiar with it. I have occassionally written first draft by hand too, but that was mostly because of flexiblity issue. Now that I have Finn (netbook for those of you who haven't been introduced), typing straight on the computer is definitely more practical. So there it is - the writing. I just sit down, follow my outline, and right as fast as I can, or sometimes as fast as the words would flow.