Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Different Book, Different Process

For the past two years, when I sit down at the computer with a fresh, blank document just waiting to be filled with a great story, I always tell myself "You've got a system now, it won't be as hard." Because that's what writers do, right? They develop a system, and after refining it over two or three books, the rest of this writing thing is a piece of cake.

Wrong, people. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Or, if that is the case, I'm just too much of a dimwit to get the system down.

For me, every manuscript has required a different process. What worked for the previous book has done absolutely nothing in helping to develope the plotline, backstory, or secondary storyline for the next book.

I've found the same to be true of the editing process. With my last book, RELEASE ME (coming soon from Leisure Books -- hey, it's my blog, I can plug my own book if I want to!), I found a wonderful system to get through the editing phase, complete with multi-colored index cards and a dry erase board. I felt soooo smart!

As I edit the final book in my Holmes Brothers series, tentatively titled RESCUE ME, I have only one question: What happened to my perfect little system? Not a single one of my fancy ideas has helped the story click into place. Oh, I have no doubt it will click eventually, but it's going to take developing new ways to structure the story. And, of course, if that's what it takes to write the best book possible, that's what I'll do.

So, for all you writers out there, is there anyone who has found one sure-fire system that works when it comes to both the creative process, and the editing process?

Share. I beg you, please, please share.

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