//Writing Tip Wednesday (5): What kind of writer are you?

Today is more of a discussion than a tip. I’m always so fascinated by the different processes different writers use. But at the same time, my second least favorite author question is: how do you write?

Plotter? If yes, outlines, lists, synopsis or charts? If you said yes to the synopsis first, we can’t be friends. Or wait…maybe we should be bffs. Yes, let’s do that.

My point is, it’s not an easy question to answer. I just do it. Right? Or should I say, write? Pun intended.

Want to know a secret (that’s like a tip, right? See? It’s still writing tip Wednesday)?

Authors LIE about their process ALL the time. I repeat. Authors lie. Or we will use that one time we wrote an outline and then tell everyone we start all our stories by creating an outline.


Sometimes explaining your writing process is like bringing a stranger or new friend to a family get together and explaining who everyone is and how they ended up in your family. There is no way they’ll be able to grasp it all. Or that you can even verbalize it. It just is.


I was able to come up with something tangible to help spark this discussion.

Feelings…for me, it’s all about feelings. What am I feeling at each stage of the writing process?

Writing the 1st Draft: exhilarated, addicted, absorbed, selfish, guilty

(Stream of conscious thoughts: Three nights in a row of pizza isn’t that bad. I’ll get the house cleaned as soon as I finish this scene. I’ll get back to my life as soon as I finish this chapter. YOU HAVE TO STOP! NOW!

Big Picture Rewrites: Loathing, self-doubt followed by bouts of mild exhilaration 

(Stream of conscious thoughts: Wow, I suck at this. I’m an idiot. Why didn’t I think of that the first time? Okay, this is gonna work. I like this. This will totally make the book better.)

Line Edits/Copy Edits: Responsible, important, boredom, unfocused-ism, amusement, satisfaction

(Stream of conscious thoughts: I am a career woman editing my book. Look at me go. Oh wow, pole not poll. Duh. Twenty eye rolls in five chapters? Really? Maybe I should take a break to research alternative actions? Yes, good idea. Oh look! A new email…)

So what about you? At what stage do you feel that writer’s high? Which is the place where you feel like a “real author”? Which phase feels like work? Which phase do find yourself talking to others about the most?  


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  1. DL White July 9, 2014 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    I think my writer's high comes around… chapter 4 or 5. I've gotten past the first two chapters and the 'then what happens' and I'm getting into the story and building, but I'm not so far in that I'm thinking about all the story I still have to tell. I'm just excited to be writing. I don't know that I have ever felt like a 'real author'… I suppose that'll come with time and being published.

    I probably worry the most– and talk to people the most– about editing. Refining and finishing. "Should s/he say this or that? Is this brand of watch still in production? If a person is in x situation, does it make sense if…" I do all of my research and fine tuning during editing, trying to make sure things make sense.

    As for my process, I am probably a meld of planner and plotter. I like to get few details straight and try to figure a few things out– who is this person and why does anyone care??? Then I just start writing! Once I get to a spot where I need to think about what comes next, then I start planning my story arc, character arc, what are my goals, what's this person doing in this story. It's totally fun when I think about it and if books could just write themselves that'd be awesome. Unfortunately a lot of keyboard clicking has to take place to bring the words and ideas to life and that's where the work comes in.

  2. Julie Cross July 9, 2014 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    I'm the same way…I talk the most about editing and editing related processes. I think it's because that's the stage I'm most likely to procrastinate. And that often involves complaining to others about editing, lol.

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