Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ready, Set, Write!

My book is now on submission, which is a lot like querying an agent (at least in my mind). My agent prepared a list of publishing houses with specific editors to target. She writes a letter (again, which is a bit like a query letter) and sends it to the editors. If they are interested in my book, they'll ask to see the manuscript. If they like my manuscript, well...we won't think about that yet!

There isn't really anything I can do while my book is on submission. I just wait and wait and wait. I'm sure I'll get nervous, anxious and obsessively check my e-mail. What I need to do is start writing my next book.

I have an idea.

I even have the short story that I want to extend (it's a 32 page piece I wrote in my MFA program).

I got this awesome new writing journal from a good friend for my birthday....

And this amazing new pen from my main squeeze....

(You can't really tell by the picture, but the white part is shiny mother or pearl and it has a jewel on the top. He had my name engraved into it. I love this pen already!)

I have no excuse to not write. I need to jump into this new project, so I don't focus on my manuscript that is out there looking for a home.

Here's a sneak peek of the first scene I have written of the shiny new draft in my writing journal (I'll share more on my idea during this next week)....

My first drafts of pieces are scenes that stand alone. It usually isn't until the second draft that I start to piece them together and look to see what is missing in between. I don't think I've ever plotted anything, although I have an idea of my story in my head (especially themes and major ideas). I like being surprised and seeing where a story can take me.

What about you? How do you start writing a story? Do you jump right into it like I do? Do you outline or plot out your structure? Do you focus on character first?


margosita said...

This is a hard question to answer, for me. I think I am still figuring it out. I start with a scene or a character or a deadline and somehow just throw myself into it. So far I can't seem to break the habit of just starting at what I think should be the beginning and going that way, even when my idea or inspiration is for a scene or moment that comes somewhere in the middle or end.

Do you write by hand, then type it up? Or do you continue in hand for quite a while?

Eileen Wiedbrauk said...

I think the best description of my process might be what you've written! At least for short fiction. For longer works I'll get the scenes and then string them together and then plot.

So exciting that your book is out to editors now! And good for you for taking this time to write more :)

Emilia Joyce Plater said...

Eee, congrats on being on submission! Go Canary! And congrats and driving through to the next book. I love the piece-by-piece method - each piece turns out so crafted. I'm doing that now, but the story itself is basically outlined (in my head - never write it down, no way!).

Outlining is my thing. It's important to me to include all those twists and loops and mysteries that I loved so much as a kid in - you can probably guess - Harry Potter. haha! I could never pull those off without knowing how everything's gonna turn out.

Mina Carlisle said...

I try to outline, but then I always end up deviate from that outline, so I just jump right in and start writing. Once I get to a second revision though, everything has pretty much ironed itself out in a way and things start to take shape around the third official draft.

I also do character biographies to help figure out their personalities before hand.