YOU GUYS. I have reached a landmark moment of popularity in the blogosphere. I mean, I'm alllll puffed up here, because I get to host Clare Davidson, debut author of the TRINITY series, on my blog today!
How cool is that?
I know. I KNOW.
Anyway, since I don't believe that there's any one right way to write a book, but mostly because I'm a little voyeuristic, I told Clare I really wanted to hear about her writing process. And since she's such a sweetheart, she said she'd write a whole post about it. (See? SWEET.)
So, here we are! I'm so honored to be hosting Clare on her VERY FIRST BLOG TOUR STOP!
Be sure to read ALL the way to the end of the post for information about where to buy Trinity AND how you could win a copy from me! (Also, read slowly so that you can savor the awesomeness of her Brit spelling, verb tenses, and phrasing. Siiiiigh.)
When Leigh Ann asked me to write this guest post about my writing process, I thought "hey, cool, I know what that is! I'm a pantser!" Then I sat down and thought about it and realised that it isn't that simple. I change my writing process depending on the project, my mood, the time of day…
Over the years I've been writing, I've tried to learn the "correct" way to write a novel. I've asked myself the following questions over and over again: Should I plan everything to the nth degree, have reams and reams of world-building and a detailed summary of EVERY scene? Is it enough to do a line-per-scene on cards or post-it notes that I can shuffle around? If I don't plan, will my novel be rubbish?
To find out the "correct" way to write, I've read scores of "how-to" books, done online and physical courses, joined writing forums and communities and asked advice. Do you know the biggest lesson I gleaned from all that time, energy and money? There is no RIGHT way to write. None at all.
I'll repeat that. There is no RIGHT way to write. It's what works for you and what works for you invariably won't work for the next person, or the next.
I'm not saying you shouldn't read the books, join the websites and take the advice. I learnt a LOT from doing all of those things. What I am saying is this: don't be a slave to someone else's writing process. If it doesn't work for you, you'll end up feeling miserable and like a failure. I know I did.
What I learnt to do is magpie bits and pieces from all the books, courses and forums that I've come into contact with, but I don't use any one method to the letter.
Trinity began as a plotting session with a friend when I was trying to save another WIP that was on its third draft and just wasn't working. That WIP wasn't saved, but became a different novel: 'Trinity'. During that plotting session my friend helped me hash out the "big picture" and I wrote down ten bullet points. That was my entire framework. It worked because I had direction, but enough freedom to flesh the story out, join the dots and fill in the gaps. It allowed my muse and my characters to be free. For me, plans become like a muzzle. I know plenty of writers who love to use detailed plans, they stick to them and write amazing books. Hats off to them! I couldn't do it.
For me, the first draft is the easiest. I don't worry about the quality of my prose, I just throw the story down on paper. The real work begins with the editing. With Trinity, I printed out a full copy, broke out the coloured pens (it's more fun to edit with different coloured pens!) and scrawled on every page, tightening the prose, fixing inconsistencies, bringing out more character emotion and so on.
All in all, the whole novel went through about five drafts. Certain sections of it went through ten or more. I had input from family, three different editors and, finally, a copyeditor.
Was all that hard work worth it? Damn right it was! Holding the finished product in my hand was the most amazing feeling: I wrote that; that's my book. Completing and publishing Trinity is a dream come true. A dream I hope to repeat, even if my writing process changes with every book I write!
Wow, Clare, you're so cool. And if Clare's this cool, I'm sure her book is ZOMG INCREDIBLE. SO. Go buy it. Seriously. Go on. Just click here.
No kidding. Go buy Trinity.
And! I'm giving away one Kindle copy to a random commenter. Follow this blog, follow Clare on Twitter, and tweet about this blog post for extra entries! (Giveaway closes on Tuesday evening, get your entries in before then! Fun fun!)