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March 15, 2010

Creatures of Habit

I've just discovered my dog has a Pavlovian response to the whir of the coffee grinder.  I started the kettle boiling, dumped some beans in the grinder, and Sadie jumped up, smiling at me and glancing at her treat bag.  You might think dogs don't smile, but trust me, when she's happy, her whole body communicates the pleasure.

Now Sadie's crashing on the couch with a biscuit in her belly while I'm about to eat another peanut cluster and drink a second pot of coffee (a mistake I'll regret later).  I'm working on piecing together some scenes in my current manuscript Gates the Hours Keep and experiencing restless munchiness.  All in all I'm happy with how the manuscript is coming along.  I have almost 400 pages written, about 300 of which I've combined into chapters and put in some semblance of order.

With each manuscript I've created,  I've used a different writing process.  The first, I wrote by hand in numerous notebooks and on scraps of paper, which I typed, chapter by chapter, as the story grew.  Often I edited as I typed. My second novel was composed almost entirely on the computer, and my work moved fairly rigidly from one plot point to another.

With Gates the Hours Keep, I'm combining elements of both approaches--writing by hand when inspiration hits or when I feel stymied; following a general outline but writing whatever scene comes to mind when I start a day's work; and organizing that raw material into the novel's chapters.  Right now, I'm at a major turning point in the story, and I don't feel the plot can move forward until I have the preceding events nailed down. 

I'm amazed when I realize how much of the rough draft is complete.  It's been a little over a year since I began working on it during those in-between hours when I'm not at the archives or otherwise occupied (hanging with my hubby, eating, sleeping, wasting time on facebook . . .)  That said, I better get back to work.

Before I go, though, I'd like to know what techniques you find most useful in creating a rough draft.  Do you closely follow an outline?  Wing it day to day?  Are your approaches constantly evolving?

1 comment:

Studio10f said...

AHHH...I <3 Sadie!