Hello loves! I thought I would share with you all how I write, what I write, what I do well with, and what I struggle with.
Generally, the writing process consists of 5 different elements. Prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, & publishing.
Prewriting for me is more brainstorming and scribbling down certain facts that I don’t want to forget. I often run through a scene over and over until I find things that can connect to the story.
For instance, if I thought of a girl pacing angrily back and forth in her bedroom. I would keep running the scene in my head until I figured out why she was angry. Maybe her brother stole something of hers. Or maybe her best friend lied to her, and she’s trying to decide what she’s going to say to her, next time she sees her.
My cat watches me as I walk from one end of my room to the other. Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth. He meows at me, annoyed. “I can’t believe she lied to me, Gus! We’ve been friends since we were 6, we never keep secrets from each other.” I sprawl onto my bed, Gus climbs over me, bothered by my presence. I would be too if I were him. Anna, my BFF of 10 years, has been hanging out with my nemesis. Jessie Newman, the most popular girl in school. “I just can’t believe my best friend would ditch me for that airhead.” I mutter, standing and gazing at my reflection in my floor length mirror. “Anna Gibson.” I begin, my voice strong. “I don’t appreciate the way you’ve been treating me….so I..I’m throwing away your friendship bracelet and….cropping you out of my laptops wallpaper!” I stomp my foot for extra oomph then lay on the floor and cry.
Drafting is really hard for me. I struggle with drafting, I think, because I’m a BIG perfectionist. So I want everything to be perfect on the first try. Because of this, I get really disappointed when my first draft is lousy and I beat myself up over it. I’m going to write a scene real fast, with no revising, or editing…..phew…let’s see how this goes….
“Keep away from the edge, Avery!” My mother calls down to me and my brother, Francis. “Yes Ma’am!” I call, my knees wobbling as I scurry across the stone walls edge. “Avery Alexander! Get down from there this instant or you’ll fall!” hollers my mother once again. “Yes Ma’am!” I whine, hurrying my pace. I WILL make it to the end. I think, ignoring the fact that at any moment my Mom will be down here to give me a spanking. 5 more steps, 4, 3…..”Ahhhhhhh” I yell, my ankle twisting on a loose brick, I tumble to the ground. “Mama! Mama! Avery fell!” Francis yells to Mom. I’m crying now, more from injured pride than anything else. “Avery, what did I tell you?! Now look what’s happened.” She examines my scraped knee with carefulness and tells me I’ll be alright. “Avery, what have you learned from this?” she asks, after cleaning, and dressing the wound. “Well Mama, I learned that its better to do what I’m told right away than to disobey and pay the consequences.” Mama seemed pleased with my response, but she didn’t need to know that I had been taught that very thing in Sunday school last Sunday….But now I understood what the teacher meant by it. I promised myself right then and there to do what Mama told me right away, to avoid getting to terribly embarrassed ever again.
That actually wasn’t so bad….but trust me, its not always easy for me, and most times it takes me forever to write a single paraphrase because I keep rewording it until its 100%….at least by my standard. I really need to work on drafting. Audrey at The Measure of a Book, did a great post on drafting, called Finishing your first draft 101. Make sure to go check it out! I found it very useful myself. 🙂
I revise a lot. Like, a LOT. I’m pretty much revising the whole time I’m writing. I read as I write, I write 20 words, read them, then write 20 more. If I see something that I don’t quite like, I revise it! I think revising is both somewhat fun, and stressful at the same time. I was writing this story a long time ago, (like 5-6 years ago) I wrote and rewrote (revised) the beginning until I kinda wore it out. Here’s how it ended up:
The winds were blowing hard and the river was rushing fast as thunder rolled over the Mountain and strikes of lightning brightened the night, casting Erie shadows All throughout the Valley!
Yeah, I know, its not the greatest, but I was pretty stinking proud of it. But look at all those errors in ONE sentence! Yikes!
Editing is very much like revising, but you become way more strict. (At least I do) You might even edit whole scenes from a story in order to make it better. In the story I mentioned above, (With the error-filled beginning) there was a certain scene where the female MC gets trapped in a burning building, and the male MC rescues her. I wrote it to perfection, or so I thought at the time, and when I came back to read it later I thought it was so cheesy and fake, so I deleted it. My sister, and probably biggest fan, and second biggest critic, was furious! That was her favorite part! But little does she know that I didn’t delete it entirely. I just cut it from the story. See, when it comes to editing, you’re probably going to cut out some pretty big chunks. But NEVER get rid of them entirely. You need to keep your mistakes! So you can go back on them, read them and be encouraged to write better. Now, since I mentioned it…I shall share with you this shameful piece of writing. Its called Fire scene. (I’m not editing it at all, beware of terrible grammar! *cringe*)
Christine Gasped, at what she saw as they rode into the Puckett ranch Yard. There was Charred Wood All around, the barn was completely Burnt down. The house was still standing, But with Flames covering over it, Isaac, and Carson ran off to help the Men with the Water, And Christine ran to the sobbing Mrs. Puckett, who had a Baby on her hip and three other little ones around her skirt. There were other women around Mrs. Puckett, they were trying to sooth her, but she Kept calling, “My Baby, My Poor Baby” Christine Looked around, Little Peter was not by his mother’s side! “Mrs. Puckett! Where is Peter?” Cried Christine. Mrs. Puckett looked towards the burning house, and began to sob Even louder. “Dear, he is still in the house” it was Mrs. Cowley, a Very Sweet old Lady. “What? In the House?” the old Lady nodded solemnly. Christine, not thinking of her safety took off running for the house, she knew it was a fool thing to do but she had to do it. Peter was such a Sweet little boy, Only six Years Old! He didn’t deserve to die. The front door was Completely Blocked by fire, so she ran to the Back side, and this time she would be able to get in through the back door! She pulled the door open, and Gasped at the heat, it Was like she had walked into an oven! She could hear people calling her name, but she hurried to find Peter, Calling his name as she went. there was stuff falling everywhere because of the fire, and she hoped He had not been hurt. She called, but there came no answer, she ran up the stair’s to the top floor, and again began calling his name. This time she heard whimpering! She ran to where the sound was coming from, And there huddled in a corner, Sat Peter. He looked up at her with tear’s running down his small little face, Christine, scooped him up in her arm’s and hurried to get him out of the house! There was soot in her eye’s and they burned, but she kept going. There! There was the Door! She was Almost there! She set peter down and reached for his hand, But before she could grab it a large piece of wood fell and landed on top of her, it was to heavy for her to move it. “run Peter! Get help!” she called to him. He took off running out the door, Christine lay there getting crushed by the wood, when she thought she could hear someone coming, her heart leaped with joy, but before she could see who it was, something fell and hit her right on the head and everything went black!
**** ~ **** ~ ****
When Christine had Run to the house, Isaac had run too, he tried to stop her from going into the burning house, but a man had grabbed his arm and told him to stay put, and that He didn’t Need to risk his life. He had stood there frozen, not knowing what to do. Since Mr. Taylor had not arrived yet, He felt Even Worse, It was his responsibility to watch over her, and now, he was afraid it was too late. It seemed like she had been in there forever! And then, Peter came from behind the house, but Christine did not! Seeing Peter, Isaac hurried towards him. “Peter, where is Christine?” Isaac had asked him. Peter had soot all over his face with dry tear stains streaking down it. “She’s Stuck! She told me to get help!” Peter said, But before he could say anymore he was wrapped in his Mother’s Arm’s as she Praised God for his safety. Isaac Hurried to the back of the house and slid through the back door. The House Creaked and Moaned as the Flames Licked it up, He Searched the room, quickly, and not seeing her he hurried up the stairs, the smoke was Much thicker up here, and Isaac’s Eyes watered profusely, and his throat felt like he was swallowing glass! He Looked around and was about to continue when he heard a moan! There lay Christine with a pile of wood on top of her, and she looked as if she were unconscious! He Heaved off the big log that lay across her, he then began clearing away the debris that was piled on her, he then picked Up Christine, and Cradled her in his arm as he made his way out of the house, he staggered down the stairs and then tripped over a chair that lay on the floor, as he balanced himself he saw the back door! Luckily it was Clear enough for him to slip through! As Soon as he had come out the door, the house crashed to the ground sending wood and flames into the air! As Isaac Lay Christine on the ground, He Heard Shrieks and screams coming from the other side of the house. He Collapsed to the ground from utter exhaustion, and overwhelming heat, into a state of unconsciousness
Terrible right?! Look at all that capitalization at the wrong times….apparently I got ‘shift’ happy….and all those exclamation points!(!!!!!!!!) *facepalm* Holy cow! It’s a fire scene for goodness sakes, why was I so excited?! I was 12, but come on! But no matter how embarrassing it is, I keep it so I can read it now, and feel better about my writing as it is today 😀
Publishing is the most exciting and the most scary part of the whole writing process. At least for me it is. I’m always excited when I’m about to publish something. Though I’ve never published a book, I get excited to publish posts on my blog, or even printing out my essay and reading it in front of my family for school, because its something I wrote. But I’m also terrified (sometimes) because its something I wrote. Sometimes after I write a blog post, and my cursor is hovering over “Publish” my heartbeat goes a little crazy and then after I click it I let out a sigh, Like “It’s too late to go back now”. I don’t know exactly why this is…because I know for sure that I am my biggest critique. But I still get nervous about it sometimes. Do you ever get nervous about publishing a blog post? Or maybe a comment?! I know I do! 😀
But something I’ve learned over the years is, be proud of whatever you write, even if it is completely terrible! You wrote it. And that’s what makes it special. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this post about My Writing Process! Thanks so much for stopping by!
Check back Wednesday for 10 new words!
P.S. I started an Etsy shop today, if you’re interested, I’d love for you to check it out here! 🙂