I wish I were the kind of writer who approached a new book methodically with notes, a plot outline, and a list of characters and all of their quirky traits noted for consistency.
I wish I were the kind of writer who kept copious notes—a la Sue Grafton who I heard say that she has countless notebooks dedicated to one Kinsey Milhone mystery alone!—to refer back to during and after a book’s completion. (This would be a good way to avoid the dreaded “did I already kill that character” after a book has gone to the printer.)
Sadly, I’m not.
I’m the kind of writer who hears a snippet of dialogue and who closes her eyes, going into a trance, hoping she can remember it.
I’m the kind of writer who writes brilliantly, in her head, at three in the morning and promises herself that she’ll remember everything she wrote and put it to paper the next morning. (Usually, what I end up with is a question mark at the beginning of the page and a random word like “orange”…something that is supposed to jog my faulty memory. It never does.)
I’m the kind of writer who when she does have a story in her head, sits down to write it only to find out her characters have a completely different idea of what’s going to happen and when.
I’m the kind of writer, who, when asked what her profession is says “freelance college textbook editor” because I forget that when I’m not editing college textbooks, I’m creating stories. Lots of stories. Some that will never see the light of day.
I’m fascinated by what makes writers tick and the processes they employ to get their stories written. I’m also fascinated by people who can accomplish a lot in short periods of time. So, today, as I embark on a new writing journey—the second in my Maeve Conlon ONCE UPON A LIE series—I ask you, regardless of whether or not you are a writer: what do you do before starting a new project and how has this tactic proved successful for you?