Guest Post: My Process of Writing by Leisl Kaberry

Leisl 086When  I first started seriously writing I would just sit down, write  and see where it went… I mean I had the main storyline in my head but on the road to getting there I would just fly by the seat of my pants. It was a bit random and I never knew what was going to come next, which was always exciting. However in writing the second book, I refined my process a bit and began with a whole lot of plotting. I use the program Scrivener to write and organise my files and so when I sat down at the laptop with thoughts of where the storyline was going to go in the next instalment, I set up a file for each chapter and scene and wrote a small synopsis for each. It actually made the flow of writing much more fluid. As I would come to the end of one chapter, I didn’t have to give too much thought about moving on to the next. I would simply read my notes, have a brainstorm as to how the chapter would play out and move on to writing it in a very planned and orderly fashion. Of course things still changed along the way as ideas grew, developed and presented issues or questions that needed some resolution, which meant it was just as exciting, because even with such plans made, I was constantly surprised by where I found myself.

When I am editing, I go through chapter by chapter, re-reading and editing the text, making sure it sounds just right and is consistent with the rest of the book. I have a notebook by my side and dedicate a page or so to each chapter, writing important notes that I may need to check up on later so that I don’t end up changing aspects about my world, characters or what-have-you along the way. It has proven to be very useful and a quick reference when I need it. Before I move on, I read it out loud and make sure it has a good flow. Also reading it word for word out loud can help to pick up on pesky mistakes that our eyes sometimes miss when reading in our head. I also edit as I write… I can’t help myself, after I have written a chapter I read it back and fix any problems, make any changes that I see fit at that time, knowing full well that I will be back to edit later so if I am unsure of something I often will put a question mark in the text to indicate I need to figure something out. However I tend to be a slow writer, in that, I don’t just sit down and let my fingers go at the keyboard and worry about how smooth it sounds later. I spend time thinking about the best way to write each line so that I can get across the right message to my readers. Each chapter may take anything from a day to week to write (depending on time restraints) so that I can get it as close to where I want it that I can before moving on.

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