Progress, and Process

This has been one of those weeks where not a lot has been going on, and… not a lot of writing, either. Not really any reason for it other than just slacking. One thing I did was meet with my fiction writers group on Saturday.

It is always fun to see my writing friends, and one thing we talked about was our writing process. As one might expect, there were as many, or more, different processes as there were writers in attendance. Some of us outline; some don’t, some do sometimes and not others. One has recently found that her process lends itself much better to flash fiction (very short stories, of 1000 words or less). One friend writes groups of scenes, but not in order otherwise, and has to figure out what stays, what goes, and in what order. “I would not recommend this process to anyone,” she says. One friend has a different process for every book – some were written with no outline and just an idea; others he wrote with a very detailed outline. Still others fell somewhere in between.

I am for the most part an outliner. However, my outlines are not very detailed, and there are always gaps in them. The gaps are where cool stuff shows up, a place for ideas that will make the story better. Not that I slavishly follow what I’ve outlined, either–with each book, I find that the outline is more and more just a guideline, and can (and should) be deviated from whenever a better idea occurs to me. This is where I really take issue with people who say outlining is not creative; I would say it just isn’t in their case. It’s especially not un-creative when I start by simply writing everything I know about the story, in a sort of free-form, free-flow brain dump where I never fail to find surprises in what comes out, and what I do know.

Last night, my husband was out of town, and you’d think I’d have gotten a lot done. Nope. It was really strange when I went to go to bed–I couldn’t find Isis anywhere! I knew I’d just let her in, and looked all over the house, most places twice. How easily can a Rottweiler hide? Then I heard a scratch on the patio door, and there she was, outside on the second story deck! I hadn’t seen her out there and had shut the door. Boy was I glad to find her! I was also glad to see DH when he got home this morning. Isis certainly was, as you can see here:

Isis hottub

Huntress9-ebookHuntress10-300What I read this week: Huntress of the Star Empire, Episodes 9 & 10 (yes, I get them in advance! :)) by Athena Grayson. All I can say is wow! This series keeps getting better and better. Even better than that, she’s informed me there will be a Season 2, though that’s a way off. Which is just as well, because I just finished the covers for Episodes 10-12. They are fun to do, but Athena knows I can use a break!

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: As you can tell from above, nothing to report. So same primary goal as last week: finish the current chapter.

What about you–did you do anything fun this week? Have you had nice weather where you are? Ours has been great, maybe that’s why I’m slacking! If you write, are you an outliner, or a just-sit-down-and-writer? And how are you doing toward whatever goals you might have, writing or otherwise? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you! 

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

5 Responses to \

  1. Weather was great on Saturday, wasn’t it? Too bad I was indoors and couldn’t enjoy it. And the meeting I went to wasn’t anything like I thought it would be. Wish I had gone to Cincinnati instead. Oh well…

    I need to get off my butt this morning. But I still have to go visit the Sizzle & Sass Facebook page (since I’m hosting it this week) before I take my shower and then finally get back to writing. I have a feeling it will be a busy week. At least it ends on a retreat (in Hocking Hills with some COFW members–looking forward to THAT).

  2. I don’t call it slacking; I call it resting and/or percolating. Same thing; different perspective. =)

    Sounds like you’ve had a lot going on, internally. I’m betting it’ll break surface sooner or later, and you’ll be recharged and ready to write.

    And I’m so glad Isis was found, and the family reunited!

  3. Stacy, we missed you Saturday! But wow, a retreat sounds great – have fun!

    Patricia, thanks for trying! I’m still working out some bugs with my plugins, apparently.

    Shan, thanks!

  4. The weather was gorgeous here on Saturday. I spent all day cleaning our balcony and planting seeds/seedlings. It’s been cooler the past few days, but I’m looking forward to spending my mornings sitting outside drinking coffee and writing/reading.

    As far as my process goes, I usually write the first chapter, then sit down and write plot ideas on index cards–one scene summary per card. I’m more pantser than plotter, but I find a little advanced planning keeps me from getting stuck.