Sunday, November 30, 2014

My Writing Process

1. Open up my notepad.
Yes, I use a notepad. Well, technically it's a spiral notebook, standard ruling (line-spacing), 70 pages. Why 70 pages? Because they're easy and cheap and I buy them in bulk in the days after the back-to-school-sales ended; they usually cost me between one and seven cents each. Any other notebook costs more per page. Trust me, I did the math.

Well, except when it's not a sprial notebook. When it's not a spiral notebook, I still technically use a notepad, but it's not "just any old notepad," it's Notepad. Notepad the original. Notepad the default. It all gets typed there first, unless I hand-wrote it first, and then it gets typed there second.

Unless something needs special formatting, it gets saved as a plaintext file. It has nothing to do with saving space. It's just what I do.

1.5. Type it up if it isn't typed
This is what I call "the second draft." If it started typed, there was no first draft.

2. Read it. And again. This time aloud.
This is my proofing process, and it's ongoing, even after the piece moves on to the next step.

3. Put it somewhere.
This is what people call the "finished product."

Yes, that's my whole process. Never more than two drafts, unless it's something that I've written a dozen times already, and this will be the nth version, like Fortress Race, which I've rewritten about that many times, each time starting near enough to scratch.

It's been enough to vex and annoy my high-school english teachers, who always seemed to be of the mind that it was never good enough unless I'd burned through a whole 70-pager for a single assignment. But who am I to be faulted if the stuff I put down raw was better quality than the second-to-last draft of my classmates?

Maybe they considered it fair punishment for a kid who had the brains to be taking AP courses, but just couldn't be bothered with the effort.