After writing fairly consistently for half a year I have crafted what some would call a process. Others might call it a pointless arrangement of actions leading to nothing but I think process has a nicer tone. So here is a guide to my amateur process that you can read and incorporate. More likely you will find my writing process to be completely lacking and to you I say, “please comment!” I would love to hear alternatives to how I do things.
What is the origin of my process? The Internet of course, well blogs and such really. Mostly my process is based purely on what has worked best for me. That should be the number one priority because writing in a comfortable manner is the only way I can even get anything done. This will come up a bit more in this post. So here is my guide to amateur writing.
Read, read a lot. In fact I now read directly before I write. Also read different genres, writers, and era’s to really expand your taste and writing style. I can’t tell you how much I have learned and observed just seeing how differently people write. That being said, let what you learn from reading flow naturally from your writing, don’t try to emulate authors who are good, but don’t not do that either. So read and keep reading.
If you don’t have as much time to read as you would like then listen. Having stories read to you in an audio book fashion is for me completely necessary. It helps me better understand the flow and voice of a novel. If you haven’t heard Neil Gaiman read one of his stories you are missing out. It’s literally an author reading you his writing in his own book. Listening to audio books is what made writing comprehensible. Having a story told to me clicked into my brain how to write. This may not happen for you like it happened for me but it can still help. It puts into reality that writing is just you telling a story in your own voice put onto paper.
So what am I reading you ask? Well you probably didn’t actually ask that but I am going to tell you anyways. The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop. This book is the bible of creative writing. It answers so many questions you have and ones you didn’t know you needed the answer to. The author, whose credentials are outlandishly legit, incorporates popular and successful writers point of views and his experience as a professor to give you a magical book that will inspire and help you build your craft. I have been mulling over this one slowly, trying to incorporate its ideas into my process. I am not even halfway through and yet I knew how great this was just reading the introduction.
Other than this book on writing, which I plan to find another once I finish this one, I mostly read fiction novels. That’s what I enjoy most and that’s what I want to write. I will confess that though I am mostly writing short stories and flash fiction right now, I am not reading much in these formats. Though I plan on remedying this fault soon.
I realize that this blog is pretty long already and will probably be splitting this guide into a few separate posts throughout the next week or two. Also I kind of like the title of this post for the overall blog.