My Writing Style: 2 weeks until 90 Day Writing Challenge!

So, I was tasked by Ms Eve Jacob my taskmaster with writing this blog post on my writing style/habits.

To be honest, I’m still working on it. How about this: I’ll write 2 sections. One on how I write now, and one on how I’d like to write.

This is how I write now: first, I look through my super-handy Fiction Writing for Dummies on how to start writing using the Snowflake method. If you haven’t heard of it, go here and check it out: http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method/. It may not be helpful for you but I’m a control freak and a perfectionist, so it works! I don’t have the software. I haven’t found it necessary (yet…)

Basically, with the Snowflake method, you start with a basic one sentence summary of your story. I usually brainstorm lots first, worldbuilding, creating character bibles (another important point stressed in WFFD), etc. Then I can usually get that short summary or logline. I’m rarely satisfied with that, so I jot down some notes on things I want to happen in the story; a sketchy outline of sorts.

Then, in the Snowflake method, you have to expand the one sentence summary into a paragraph. This is usually the most fun for me, since I have a little more breathing room but it still isn’t too long. Then I have to arrange chapters and scenes. I come up with all the scenes and write them down on 3×5 note cards. I rearrange and remove as needed after this.

Then comes the fun part…

The 2 page summary. It’s not quite as hard as I always imagined, especially if you have the note cards, but it is time-consuming. After I write this, I usually edit this once or twice as the story evolves in my mind. Of course, as the manuscript itself goes through edits, the summary will need additional edits, but that’s the way it goes!

And this is all before I write a single word of the manuscript! This part itself took me nearly a month in prepping for Soulreader drafting. Nearly as long as the draft itself.

After this, the drafting process is easy! Armed with my note cards, I fly through it. If I remember correctly, I began on Sept 13, 2013, and finished October 28, 2013. 82,000 words (271 pages) in draft 1.

I’m still bogged down in edits. I took off for November so I could focus on NaNoWriMo and the awful novel I wrote then. December wasn’t much better, with holidays. I did a read-through in January, marking story issues/questions with a pen, and sent the draft to Eve Jacob as well. I also got a free 10 page edit from the ladies at Bear & Black Dog editing, which was very eye-opening. Finding fault with my writing used to bother me since I want to be perfect, but I’m realizing that’s the only way to become perfect!

Now, the way I want to write. The planning and drafting process really works for me. It’s the editing stage I need to strengthen up. I need a specific strategy because I don’t know what I’m doing! I really want to write up things I need to do and put them on my cork board. It needs to be professional. Ha! But seriously, I want a formula for each step: first, big picture edits; next, plot hole/continuity; then, character development/foreshadowing; chapter edits, paragraph edits, line edits.

Because, as I said, I am a perfectionist.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Thanks for putting up with me through this! It took a while. I may come back later and edit in some pictures, though. Can’t wait to join all of you for the 90 Day Writing Challenge on the 21st!

-Jenna

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About Jenna

I am 24 years old, with a bachelor's degree in English. I am currently querying a YA fantasy about assassins and magical powers, and I'm revising another YA fantasy based on Mayan civilization!
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