Category Archives: process

Posted in writing, process.

This is, indi­rectly, the answer to the ques­tion I was asked several years ago. That ques­tion wasn’t about how to write that first novel, or the rest of the ques­tions that we all had as new writers; it was about how, after the shine of that first novel dulled, the dust had settled, and one was not Rowling or Roth­fuss, one continued. Oddly enough, it is also a post about Anxiety and processing. Or not oddly. ANXIETY PART II I want to recap slightly, but also to be a bit more gran­ular. So, let me go back to my 3 points, because they’re not actu­ally 3 points. This is Michelle at peak effi­ciency: 1. Cast novel current words 2. Cast novel, possible causal forward writing … Continue reading 

Posted in writing, process.

My job is writing. No, let me start this again. My work is writing. Job implies pay of one kind or another, but… the work itself existed before I was paid. When I chose publi­ca­tion as a viable aim, I did that work in the hope that I might one day be paid for doing it. It was the same work as I do now, but I wasn’t as good at it. Writing is work to all of the people who want to share the results of that work in future with readers. While you are in the writing trenches, we are strug­gling to do the same thing. We are all working. We are all writing. Let me start with an anec­dote. *** When they were in … Continue reading 

Posted in writing, process.

ANXIETY PART I This one is more compli­cated. Or at least it is on the inside of my head. So, let’s start with a digres­sion. An anec­dote. A friend of mine in real life, who also writes, once asked me a ques­tion. It was pretty simple. “What are you thinking about?” “I’m thinking about the struc­ture of this book.” (I don’t remember which book, but it was one I was writing, and not one I was reading, and yes, the distinc­tion does make a differ­ence.) “What else are you thinking?” “I’m wondering if there’s anything I can do to help Older Son sleep at night.” “What else are you thinking?” “I’m thinking that I don’t have enough things in place to write the Dragon Court book I want … Continue reading 

Posted in writing, process.

Yesterday, on the way home from a memo­rial service for my high school English Teacher, I returned to revi­sions on the inside of my head. It was better than traffic. (I’m a passenger; I don’t have a driver’s license.) I realize that I have forgotten an iter­a­tion of revising that very first book for publi­ca­tion. When Veronica made her offer for the first book of the Book of the Sundered series, I was ecstatic. This meant the book I’d written was publish­able, right? I’d finally gotten it right! …Well, no. What it meant was a long contract and a lack of guilt when she asked me for revi­sions – because now that they had made an offer on the book, she didn’t feel guilty about asking for work that might lead … Continue reading 

Posted in writing, process.

If you find you are getting too many blog-post emails and you really don’t want them, you can subscribe to the news only mailing list which I promise not to inun­date. So: before I talk about revi­sions, and what that meant at the time, I want to talk a little bit about a couple of other things. A writer has to learn to handle critiques, because you are going to get them. If from no one else, then from your editor. There are things that are not clear, and things that make no sense (because you’ve left some of the sensible parts on the inside of your head. “But – I explained all that!” “No, you didn’t.” “But I did.” Michelle thinks about this because she is certain … Continue reading