It’s a Process

There are really three parts to the creative process. First there is inspiration, then their is execution, and finally there is the release.

-Eddie Van Halen

How did I execute my first novel? What is my process? How is my ‘process’ on my second novel differing from the first novel? 

I feel weird talking about my the way I approach my novels.  Writing this blog, in general, opens up my world to others in ways I didn’t anticipate.  I didn’t expect the intimacy of it, I had no idea something so public could be so personal.  

My process for creating my second novel is almost completely different from my first.  Not out of a conscious change, but my world changed and thus, the way I write.  If you read my earlier post, Out of Darkness, you know I wrote my first novel as a way to survive the last year of my first marriage.  It was an escape, and out of great personal horror, I birthed a new world.  

As I’ve mentioned before, I dreamed the first scene of my novel.  The next day, I put fingers to keyboard.  After the first scene, I would see something or find myself inspired by something else and another scene was formed.  I wrote most of the book out of sequence, crafting in a truly organic way, as the story developed.  It was like the characters would clamor in my head to be freed from the trap of my mind to paper. I would print out the scenes and storyboard them, like scenes in a film, playing with the way in which the story and themes revealed themselves.  Once I had the order, I weaved the scenes together, creating the webbing and drama until it was kneaded into a complete novel.  

Next, I began editing.  I printed the novel and then did an edit by pen and paper, transferring the edits to computer when finished. I did the same again and again until I had a copy I was okay sending out to beta readers.  I took into consideration their comments, edited again.  I wanted to have hard copies of each edit for two reasons.  One, I feared losing this thing, so precious to me, through electronic failure. Two, so I could see the evolution and if I changed my mind about something, I have a hard copy to reference and notes.   Yeah, I also used track changes in Word.  Yet, something about touching paper and pen just felt ‘right.’ 

Now as I write, I am in a different frame if mind.  I’m happily divorced and ecstatically remarried.  But even if that wasn’t so, I have grown, learned to love myself, have faith in myself, and never again allow myself to become a victim. 

Now, I write not out of the necessity to survive, but because I enjoy writing.  One of the most awe inspiring things you can do is look onto a novel you wrote and know that You  brought a whole new world, with it’s own characters and myths, to life.   I write now because it fulfills me. 

For my second novel, a potential sequel to the first, I write in scenes and still storyboard.  Yet, I feel my writing is more matured.  I plan more, outline more, take time to think more about what it is I’m crafting.  This method, I believe will create less chaotic editing on the back-end of the process.  

My third novel process is unique. It is only slightly different because of it’s nature.  I am co-authoring this because it’s a story based on a table top game my husband and I are playing.  I love the original characters and story so much, I have to draft it into a novel to share with others.  I write the framework and my hubby fills it out, adding more depth. 

Every project has it’s own needs and develops in it’s own way.  I think when we create, if we listen to our inner self, the project is achieved in the way it is fated.  

Today was about execution. This weekend I’ll tackle inspiration.  Someday there will be a release.  No matter the side you take on the Van Halen debate, I have to agree with Eddie on this one.  

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