I’ll always be a pantser and you can’t stop me.
Image Credit – Peter H. Reynolds (Author and illustrator of adorable kids books)
I’m currently working on my third edit of the fifth book in The Box series. For this edit, I’ve scrapped just about everything I’ve written to this point and rewriting the book from start to finish.
Yup. I’m throwing out about 60000 words. Around 30000 of which I hand wrote during the summer.
You probably think I’m crazy. What I wrote can’t be that bad. Why wouldn’t I just fix up what I have?
You’re right. I am crazy.
But here’s the thing. If I believe, which I do, that rewriting the entire book will make it better, than that’s what I need to do. I will never be happy with the final product if I try to salvage parts just to make the process go faster. I don’t think you as a reader would be happy either. That’s just wrong. I might as well give up writing entirely if my goal isn’t to make my readers happy.
I have some author friends *cough* Patti Larsen *cough* who shake their heads at my process. Such authors are amazing at writing outlines and figuring out their books before they ever start writing the first words on page.
Man, do I ever wish I could work like them. One draft and a few edits would be much easier than rewriting entire books. I’ve tried outlines of various kinds. Detailed, general, cue cards, chapter by chapter breakdowns. I have never finished a novel when I started with an outline. I’ve written approximately ten novels at this point.
Despite my attempts to be a more efficient writer and plan my stories ahead of time, I think I will always be a write by the seat of my pants sort of person. It takes probably twice as long (or more) in the end, but it’s the process that works for me.
If you’re a writer, what’s your process? If you’re a reader, do you know what your favorite author’s process is like?