I have to admit that my favorite part of the writing process is when my fingers are pounding the keys, filling a blank page with words. I used to be a full-out pantser, but I kept getting stuck on my first drafts, so I decided to do some planning. It’s definitely helped my writing. I’m a better writer now than I was a year ago, that’s for sure. I’ve come to enjoy the process of discovery that’s part of the planning stage.

When I’m planning, I’m writing scene ideas on index cards; crafting a rough synopsis; writing an outline; tracking down photos of key characters, objects, or places; or doing world-building or character backstory. All of these things add depth, add layers to my story. Sometimes I’ll do some of this as I go—I’m constantly being surprised by details about my world or my characters as I write. But knowing as much as possible beforehand helps me create richer first drafts.

Steampunk! | photo by Cole Vassiliou, WANA Commons
Steampunk! | photo by Cole Vassiliou, WANA Commons

The planning stage has its perks—I spent part of yesterday looking up shoes with a steampunk flair for my new story, and there is something satisfying about getting to know your characters before you dig into the story. I enjoy looking for photos of my characters. This story has an element of mystery, so I want to make sure I can sprinkle clues throughout the story from page one.

What about you? What’s your favorite part of the writing process? How much planning do you do before you put pen to page—or fingers to keys?

A midweek ROW80 check-in…

Writing goals:

1.) Finish a first draft of novella/novelette “Haunted Kisses.” No progress. Instead worked on a detailed, for-my-eyes-only synopsis for my steampunk story. Still a few holes to be filled in, but I’m off to a good start.

2.) Finish a second draft of novelette “Called by Magic.” On hold.

3.) Do a read-through of “Good Old-Fashioned Magic,” make necessary edits, and send to critique partners. On hold.

4.) Read three books on the craft/business of writing. Started reading “Writing the Breakout Novel” by Donald Maass.

Social media goals:

1.) Check in on Twitter or Facebook daily. On track to meet this goal.

2.) Blog twice a week. Counting the cover reveal for Ruth Nestvold’s “Island of Glass” that I posted yesterday (gorgeous cover—check it out here) and this post, I’ve met this goal.

3.) Comment on three to five blogs per day, Monday-Thursday. Met for Monday. Only commented on one or two blogs on Tuesday.

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. It’s also a blog hop! Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

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