How I Write
Writing fascinates me because everyone does it differently. As I watch my students go through the process–even at the elementary level–it amazes me how they come up with their stories. So, for anyone who’s interested, here’s how I do it:
1. I do not follow any sort of outline, web, or prewriting. I usually get an idea for a title first and go from there.
2. I create characters that may fit with my title. I start with names because a name can tell a lot about a person. Then, in my mind (and in my notebook), I create their entire lives–from childhood all the way to adulthood.
3. From the title, and with the characters in mind, I create some sort of obstacle or drama and place the character(s) there. How they handle that particular drama plays out as I write. With that being said, I am an extremely structured person, so while I let the storyline run its course, it is within a tight mental structure of intro, rising action, climax, and ending. Every little detail that I write is mentally stored away (or jotted down) so as not to be overlooked as I tie everything together at the end.
4. When the story is finished–and only then–I look it over once. I write the query paragraph-summary and the synopsis (both a long and short) right after completion, so that I can get it down while the story’s fresh.
5. After that, I do something else. Usually I read a novel or work on another story.
6. Once it has been a while, I read the story again and begin editing and revising. I know I’m done when I can read it and fix nothing. Needless to say, I’m never done.
7. Finally, (even though I’m never finishished) I submit my work to publishers and agents.