Thursday, May 9, 2013

Precious Process


Got my manuscript back with way less notes than I expected. Which could  be good or bad. The person reading it could simply have overlooked various problems, or, the script is actually better than I thought it was. Crossing my fingers for the latter.
Either way, I have officially reached step 4 of my 5 step writing process.

Step 1:
This is where I write the rough draft after spending time on all the things that lead up to step one that involve plotting, structuring,  treatments etc. The first draft is generally the worst; a blue print of something that will later resemble a viable manuscript, but it's also my favorite step. This phase is where I get into the space, often referred to as "the zone", where real-time ceases to exist along with people, sounds, and obligations. I can sit for 8 hours straight without realizing that I'm starving or in the desperate need of a pee. A wonderful time for me, not so much for the people in my life who insists I need to join the living and do unnecessary things like sleep, pay bills, or give other humans more advanced replies than yes, no, or: make sure they put chopsticks in the bag this time. (I absolutely hate eating Chinese food with a fork--it's just plain wrong.)

Step 2:
Is the most depressing, exhausting, exciting and tedious step where I rewrite without consulting anybody else, because I already know what's wrong. All I have to do is figure out away to fix it. Kind of like sitting on a floor in an ocean of puzzle pieces. You know they all go together, but you're sitting with something that looks like an eyeball in one hand and a piece of the sky in the other and have no idea where to even start. For me, this particular part of the process involves a lot of self-pity, coffee, crying, and way too many donuts. While Sapphire's nemesis is the serial killer, mine is the glazed donut. Though Sapphire usually conquers her nemesis. I never do.

Step 3:
Handing the manuscript my husband, plus others, for notes, corrections, and all that jazz. This is both rewarding and horrible. Suddenly there are holes you didn't think the script had, and the parts you were sure people were going to hate, they love. Very confusing. Often calls for a donut or two, even though I'm technically already out of the donut phase.

Step 4:
Starts with implementing the notes received in step 3, after which the script gets cleaned, made presentable, and sent off to the important peeps (no offense to my husband) like my agent and editor at the publishing house, where I receive more notes and corrections. So finally, once those notes are implemented as well, the blueprint has become several drafts of a manuscript and the manuscript has finally become a book that is ready to be seen and judged by the most feared and appreciated human in this whole process: the reader.

Step 5:
I hope for the best and slowly start transforming from creepy Gollum-looking writer, who hides in the shadows and hugs a manuscript while hissing: "My precious." and back into a normal human being. Well...relatively normal human being.



  1. I too love donuts, but I'm especially fond of crunchy things in Phase 2. Great post!

    1. Thanks! Maybe I'll try something crunchy, like Cheetos, to wean myself off the donuts for my next book:)