Stop Trying To Bypass The Process! It’s There For A Reason!

I’m a very process-oriented gal.  It’s a big part of my day job and I’m good at designing them.  There are very good reasons why processes are developed, implemented and executed.  They guide an initiative to completion.  They lay out a set of logical steps that individuals can follow in order to achieve a specific end.  They account for deviations and exceptions along the way and they include alternate steps to avoid pitfalls and challenges that may crop up.

Generally speaking.

As a newbie author, I didn’t realize that I could apply a process to the development of a novel.  I thought that creativity trumped organization.  I was SOOOOO wrong.  

My wonderful editor Cindy showed me the error of my ways and because of her, I used PROCESS to learn about my subjects.  One of the key steps in the process of developing a compelling novel?  Develop your characters!  Learn everything about them!  Create a robust backstory for each character in your story, so that you know where they came from, what past experiences shape their views, and how they interact with others.  After I followed the process and learned about my characters, I was able to rewrite my story with depth and purpose.  I didn’t realize how shallow my first versions were until I spun out the third.

But yet again, I find myself resisting the process.  What the hell is wrong with me?

I got halfway there.  I know Chris like the back of my hand, but I’m still not sure about Mia.

Cindy gave me a few different scenarios to build out as I developed my character sketches.

1.  Most Embarrassing Moment

2.  Angriest Moment

3.  The Character’s Reaction to a Dog’s Incessant Barking

You’d be surprised how well you get to know someone as you create the events leading up to these scenarios.  My immediate problem is that I’m only halfway through Mia’s character sketch.  I haven’t fully developed her backstory.  Sixty pages into Nothing Ventured, and I’m still at a loss.  I don’t know where I’m going because I don’t know HER.

This madness has to STOP!  I need to embrace the process or the whole story will unravel like a cheap rug.

Taking The Weekend OFF!

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Today is a good day.  I feel very relaxed right now.  It doesn’t hurt that I’m getting a pedicure as I type, but that’s not the real reason.  I just feel like I have a lot to look forward to on this journey toward publication.  I don’t know where it will lead me, but I’m okay with the unknown.  For now, anyway.  People who know me well are fully aware that my OCD will only allow me to flail around for a very short time before I start to get antsy.

I just printed out my final manuscript.  Of course, I had to check with my editor twice this morning (before 7 a.m.) that it really was polished and perfect and ready to submit (or whatever).  After telling me for the umpteenth time to relax and stop being so insecure, I decided today was the day that it was ready for prime-time.

So he’s reading while I’m getting my feet scrubbed.  I can’t wait to get his feedback.  He’s been so amazing and supportive throughout this whole process.  I’m really lucky to have such a wonderful partner who is so invested in me.  =)

Just as an aside, it’s kind of hard to blog about my book when nobody really knows what I’m talking about.  The assurance that “you’ll see what I mean sometime in the not-so-distant future” will lose its luster pretty quickly.  I need to figure out new things to chat about in the interim.

And since my mind is so clear today, I actually have time to think about things like whether or not I want to take a shot with some new  fake eyelashes tonight.  I have some really awesome bejeweled ones that’ll look fantastic with my outfit!  Like I said last night, I’m taking the weekend OFF!  =)

 

 

 

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