Friday, May 6, 2016

Write. Just write.

This sums up my writing right now. Basically, I'm not doing it like I should. 

Why is it that when you sit down to write everything is more interesting then actually writing? I seriously checked every blog I knew, checked my email multiple times, read through the goodreads feed, and scrolled through pinterest before I finally started writing this.
And I'm supposed to be doing a post about writing. My advice? DON'T GET DISTRACTED!
Anyway, moving on ... :P

How is your Friday coming along? Are you excited for the weekend? I know I am! Our week has been insanely busy. I think we tried to fit a whole month of activities into one week. And the rest of our month looks just as crazy. *sigh* If I disappear from the blogging world for a week or two, it's because life decided to speed up instead of slow down. You've been warned. ;)

So, writing!
It's been forever since I did a post about it, and I thought it would be fun if I did a post about my writing process. Sound fun? I hope so! :)

1. Research

The very first thing I do after get an idea (and decide I want to put time and energy into it) is research. This normally involves making a list of what sort of things I need to research. For example I'll use one of my latest stories that is set in WWII in America, France and England during the Battle of Britain. My research list looked something like this.

--America before WWII
The armed services before the war
American opinion of the war
Men who left america to fight in Britain

--The Battle of Britain
'The Few". American men who risked all to fight in the battle of Britain.
Aircraft in the Battle of Britain
Origins of the RAF (royal air force)
Pilots in the RAF

--The German invasion of France
The fall of the Maginot line 
The German invasion
German government within the occupied cities
German espionage in Britain after France was captured

After I identified all the areas I would need to study, I made, you guessed it, a trip to the library. Or, in my case, libraries. I wrote this story during NaNo, so I was trying to get most of my planning done before it started. The stacks of library books I had on my shelf at any given time in October was ridiculous. However I was able to get most of it done my the 1st of November! And of course, there were still things I had forgotten to look up and research before hand that I needed once I had started. So I made a list, and when we went to the annual WWII reenactment, I bombarded one of the German infantry soldiers with questions. (Thankfully he was nice and understanding and he put up with talking to me for nearly an hour.)
Oh, and did you know that those who went overseas to fight with Great Britain could have their American citizenship revoked? Yes, I know that was really random.

2. Organize
As I was researching, I wrote down the information I through I would need, or just little tidbits I thought would be interesting, onto 3 x 5 note-cards. These I organized according to date (which event happened first). This made it easy for when I was writing. If I needed any information while I was writing, I could simply go to my note-cards, find the approximate date I was looking for, and than get what I needed.
Researching before and organizing also keep this from happening ...
And then there's the outlining. I don't formally outline. I have the events I want in order, and I simply write my characters into the events. Now, this isn't saying I don't do any outlining! I do outline my characters, their personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as their personalities before I write. And I'm the kind of person who likes to have the overall plot written out, so I do that as well!

3. Get ready
Yes, this, in my opinion, needs it's own category! Because when I write, I have to get ready. I have to purpose to set time aside, and than I need to make sure I spend that time on writing and writing only. Which means I have to make myself close every other tab except my email and just write. Although I do normally have youtube up as well. Because I need music when I write! 

4. Write

This is the best part. (of course!) I finally get to just sit and write. I like to start at the beginning and work my way towards the end. However, a dear friend taught me that it's okay to write a random scene or idea you, especially if your stuck. So yes, This is the fun part. You can do pretty much whatever you want however you want. Yes, the first draft will be a mess. (Trust me, mine was horrid!) But that's okay. You can go back and fix and edit later. Right now you're just getting ideas down on paper. 

5. Take a Break
This is another tip a writer friend taught me. Once you've finished your story, take a break! You've worked hard, you deserve it. Set it aside for two weeks and don't touch it, Now if you're like me, this is so hard to do! I want things to look nice, and my first urge when I've finished writing is to edit. But it is best to just wait and take a break. That way when you get back into your story, you have a fresh perspective. 

6. Edit and re-write
*cringes*. Did I just say this? Editing is my least favorite part, but it needs to be done! Editing is immensely hard for me. It's something I have to force myself to do. But it is a part of the writing process, so just do it. ;) In the end, it's worth it to be able to look over your document and be pleased with how it looks. Just like in any other thing in life, the hard work pays off! :) 

So ... that's my writing process. Right now I am stuck on the editing part with two of my stories. But ... I finished up yet another edit of The Silent Blade, and now I'm ready to send it to my sweet editor for one last look-over before it's published!! It may take a little while until it's all said and done, but it's sooo close! And I'm really excited!! :D 

Anyway, that's all for this post. :) Do you have a certain way that you write? Do you tend to research before or during your writing? What is your favorite part of the writing process? I'd love to know!


  1. Yes. Distractions. Gahhhh. If I could write by hand and then like hire someone to type it all up for me, I would probably do that so I wouldn't be distracted by the internet. But then again, I'm not sure if that would make any difference. ;)

    My weekend has been lovely! I've written over 1K (sounds pathetic, but it's pretty good for me ^_^) and did lots of reading and blogging. Hope yours is nice and relaxing after the rest of your crazy week!! ;)

    Um. Wow. Your research is like so perfectly organized. Besides being rather non-existent, mine is such a mess. :P (But last night I had a glorious idea to color-code all my research notes since I need to learn about everything from POWs, to planes, to airbases and training, to life on the home front. ;) So yeah.)
    Speaking of research, I was reading in a book on the air war over Europe and I found this one picture and I was "oh my goodness!!" It's totally David (yours) or Gil...not sure. ;) (I have to specify which David here, though in my mind they're totally different peoples. XD)
    Yes, I did know they could get their US citizenship taken!! :D LOL.

    I usually don't have much of an outline before I begin to write, but I have a pretty good one for WT. I need to work on outlining some of the minor characters more too though. ;)

    MUSIC IS TOTALLY NECESSARY FOR DECENT WRITING!!! (Caps. totally intended. Totally.)

    Congratulations to that certain friend for convincing you to write those scenes whenever you want instead of when you actually 'get to them'!! :D

    *if* I finish school and lots of reading in May, and *if* I finish researching in June, and *if* I do NaNo and finish WT in July, I'll definitely be taking a break and setting it aside for awhile. ;) Like...ten years or something. *cough*

    Editing. Yes, stick with it, Jesseca. ;) You. Can. Do. This! :D Oh, congrats on being almost finished (forever!!) with "The Silent Blade"!!! That's so awesome!

    Hmm. My favorite part of the process would have to be the actual writing, but I really love research. ;) (I say that now, but I doubt I will later. Ha.)

    Wonderful post, Jesseca!! You write everything so beautifully. :) Thanks for sharing about your process! I can't believe I'm really leaving a comment this long, but whatever. XD
    Looking back at your title... Now edit. Just edit. B-)

    1. I'm pretty sure this would be considered an article of opinion...not a comment. ;)

    2. Whew! Write your own blog post! ;)

    3. Wow. Am I going to attempt to reply to this? Okay. *takes a deep breath*
      Haha, yeah .. I think I would get more distracted is I wrote by hand because of all the mistakes I would make and not be able to backspace. ;P

      Oh, yay!! Writing anything is an accomplishment, and 1K is quite a bit! We did have a nice weekend, which was soooo needed! ;)

      Oh, color coding sounds like a great idea!!! the only reason it appears organized is because I cannot stand to have it no organized. Which doesn't really make any sense. And yeah. Researching so many different things can be fun, but exhausting. :P
      Haha, they are different people! But now I want to see the picture!!! Oh, and I got 10 books in the "Time Life WWII" set for $5 at our library!!!! And they're all in perfect condition!! I'm so excited to start reading them! :D (Yes, I know that was way off topic. B-))
      Haha, yes, of course you knew that. I figured you did. ;)

      Yes, WT has a wonderful outline!

      MUSIC IS AWESOME! I will say no more about it...

      Yes, she did a great job! So much so that now I tend to write the end before I write the beginning. ;)

      Oh, yay!!! I'm so excited you're planning to finish it!!! :D And I will totally edit it for you when you're finished, if you'd like. Lord willing I will have "A Question of Honor" finished by then. :)

      Yeah, research is so much fun!!! I still enjoy it. :)

      Aww, thank you. <3 You're welcome, I'm glad you enjoyed reading! And I always look forward to your long comments.
      I will try to edit. I will be killed tomorrow if I don't, so... some editing will get done soon. ;)

      Oh, and I agree with Rebekah, you should write your own blog post about how you write! ;)

    4. Ahhhh!!!! I LOVE THE TIME-LIFE BOOKS!! I have four of the old black and white ones (The Air War over Europe, The Home Front, Prisoners of War, and The Resistance) and then I have one of the new books from them too. ;)
      That picture was actually in one of the Time-Life books! It was talking about guys that left the US to help the RAF. ;)

      Maybe I will write my own blog post on writing... We'll see. ;)

  2. With my senior recital now OVER...*does a happy dance* I will hopefully have more time to write all those stories I've been neglecting shamefully. *hides face*
    Thanks for letting my know I'm not the only one with a busy life right now! ;)

    1. Yay!!! I bet it was beautiful!!! I know you were working really hard on it! :)
      Ahh, yes, writing time!! :D
      And no, you're totally not. ;)

  3. I enjoyed this post, Jesseca! (And also related with it quite a bit, considering I should probably be writing right now... XD) I loved all the little memes ;P It's always nice to know others struggle with the same things as you!

    1. Yes, you should. So write. Just go write. ;)
      Haha, thank you! I had a ton of fun finding the ones I wanted to use. ;)
      I agree! Thanks for commenting!

  4. My writing process looks something like this:
    1. Get story idea.
    2. Begin writing. (and research)
    3. Make basic outline. (and research)
    4. Write. (and research some more)
    5. Take an unintentional break.
    6. Write some more. (and research)
    7. Edit. (But I've not yet gotten that far . . .) Finish researching final details.

    Yeah, so maybe not the best style. But when I have an idea, I just have to start writing and research as I go. (Shame on me.)

    I'm so proud of you for how far you've come with The Silent Blade! Keep up the editing! You can do it! Did you ever get to order your first copy of the book? You had mentioned doing that beginning of May.

    Keep up the good writing! ;)

    1. Yeah, and that's not a bad way to write!! I know a lot of people who do it that way, I'm just one of the people who has to have everything in order. ;P

      Thank you, Bethany! <3 You've been a huge help with it!! And .. keep your eyes open for tomorrow's post. It'll answer that question. B-)