Because it can’t all be sunshine and happy edits. Here’s a RAQ (rarely asked question for those of you at home).
What’s your writing process like?
To be honest…chaotic. I’m not normally an outliner. I thrive on that feeling of getting lost in the words, and then have something tie itself together that I didn’t even see coming. There’s a part at the end of Witch Eyes that I wrote. Stopped. Read over. Then ran out of the room to announce my genius to the roommate. Who took a second to wrap her brain around it, and then had a jaw drop moment of agreement. (That was a fun night – second only to the night I had to wake her up — TWICE — to tell her about the email offer I got).
Since I don’t outline, I generally just have a vague direction the book is going. Usually what happens is that I know the beginning, and I have vague senses of a plot point coming up in the future. Then I write and write until I get to that point, and hope that by the time I’m there, I know where my next rest stop is. I really do think of my writing like a highway. I just keep a lookout for those road signs that tell me how long until the next rest stop.
I don’t usually stop and revise until I get to a point where I realize I got off on the wrong exit, and I need to backtrack and figure out where it all went wrong.
Also? I never, ever end up at the destination I’m supposed to. Meaning my first draft ending is ALWAYS full of fail, and I have to rewrite it.
Usually what I’ve done so far is to print myself out a calender, and lay it flat on the desk in front of me. I use it to record my starting and ending word counts for the day. Then I subtract, and write down how many words I’ve written that day. I set myself a goal (six or eight weeks, usually) and that gives me a word count goal for every day. What ends up happening is that once I get into the story, I start surpassing that word count guide. Then I’ll revise the estimated date for me to finish (or I procrastinate for a few weeks until I’m back on track).
Before I let anyone else read it (usually) , I’ll go through and do at least one or two rounds of revisions. I write myself a list of things to work on in the second draft, and if I don’t get through all of those (with Witch Eyes, there were about 50 different things, some were huge undertakings, and others were like "mention this here") then I work on that with the third draft.
At some point, I just get fed up with the edits, and I send it off to my beta readers. They rip it apart, and I do the process all over again.
Editting, for me, is a lot like writing. Once I get into it, I start to accelerate more and more until I’m blazing through the story. It’s getting that momentum going that’s so hard. I get distracted EASILY, so it’s hard sometimes to keep focused.
All in all. Yeah. That’s my process. Aren’t you glad you didn’t ask?