I thought it would be fun to give you some insight into my book-writing process, because it’s probably not what you might imagine. Originally, I’d decided to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), back in November, 2011. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to try to write an entire novel in 30 days, and this event occurs every year. The intention is to encourage writers to start and finish a book that is at least 50,000 words long, but it’s expected that it will only be a draft that will need much editing.
The Process Was Temporarily Halted
I gave it a shot, but life intervened, and I was unable to complete the goal in the 30 days. That didn’t stop me, however. I’d only written about 17,000 words by the end of November, but that was more than enough to get me started, and I knew that I would eventually finish it. So here are some little factoids about the process I went through while writing The Grave Blogger.
Writing Process Factoids
- When I first decided on the basic plot, I had no idea which of the characters would turn out to be the killer. I didn’t decide that until I’d written about 10 chapters.
- Once I decided which character was going to be the killer, I still didn’t have any idea WHY.
- In fact I only decided, once I’d written 26 chapters of the book, why the killer is a killer. The motivation was finally revealed to me.
- Revealed to me? Yes, that’s the way I’d put it. In fact, except for the very basic premise that I started with, the entire novel pretty much wrote itself. Most of the characters emerged from nowhere. They just “showed up” when they decided I needed to include them. The characters formed their own personalities literally by themselves. I was constantly surprised to find out more about the characters. I didn’t plan any of the details. They just unfolded themselves to me…almost like they would if I was reading a book!
- I wrote short pieces at a time, generally. Sometimes, I’d only write a couple of paragraphs and then stop, come back later, write a couple more, stop, come back, etc. Hours usually went by between each short piece I wrote.
- I didn’t generally think much about the book when I was not actually writing. I didn’t plan it out in my head as I went about my day, usually. Once in a while, I’d be driving or doing something else, and an idea would pop into my head for a good plot point, but generally speaking, if I was not writing, I was not thinking about the book. Perhaps that’s why it surprised me when I found out more about the characters as I wrote. 🙂