Hannah Moskowitz does fast-drafting. This means she writes her novels in 5 to 8 days, most of the time. (More about that on her blog: http://hannahmosk.blogspot.com/ which you HAVE to read. I mean she’s 19, she loves Fight Club and Rent and her novel BREAK, about a 17-year-old determined to break every bone in his body, came out last year. And did I mention she’s awesome?)
How I write
Now I’ve only finished one novel in my life, so I don’t know if how I wrote that one will be how I write the one I’m writing. Man that’s a confusing sentence.
How about a list of all the novels I’ve started and finished? Most of which I didn’t finish, but whatever.
- SAME DIFFERENCES: Crap. I think I had an outline, but I never finished it. 9540 words before I gave up.
- SURRENDERING: I had an outline, more or less, and I haven’t the faintest idea how long it took me to write. That’s how long ago it was. Also: it sucked. It was almost 12 000 words. COMPLETE
- LIVING: Sequel to SURRENDERING. Crap. Utter crap. 2276 words.
- SELENE YOUNGBLOOD: Not crap, apart from the first chapter. I’m hoping to rewrite it someday and finish it. Approx 10 000 words.
- UNWANTED VAMPIRISM: *shudders* Worse than crap: shit. 4282 words.
- A BLANKET UNWOVEN: Crap, but I know learned something. 31 333 words. COMPLETE
- CATCHING RODRIGO: Not crap. 3971 words.
- NOTHING’S CHANGED: Kinda crap. 7023 words.
- THE VEILED MOON: Not really crap. 4795 words.
- THE HEALING PROCESS: Had potential. 596 words.
- ZOE: Don’t even remember it. 792 words.
- HAYLEY: Loved the main character. 663 words.
- ALICE WHITLEY: Why on earth did I even write that? 510 words.
- EMMELINE: Ugh. 185 words before I gave up.
- HER SMILE: Had potential, liked the idea, lacked plot. 8365 words.
- KENNA’S CHOICE: No outline. And according to my critique partner, not so crappy. 50 956 when I finished it. COMPLETE
- PLAYING WITH DARTS: No outline, at first. 31 345 words.
IDEAS: I get a sentence–not an image, or a character, or a plot or a “what if…” type of question–and start writing immediately. No outlining beforehand, or figuring out who the main character is. I just write.
The best three examples for this are Selene Youngblood, Kenna’s Choice and Playing with Darts:
- “I dared look out from behind the tree that hid me.” Will change when I have time to edit Selene Youngblood. (Title will have to change too.)
- “I’d be lying if I said I felt safe in his presence.” The new and improved first sentence is “Aura’s voice in my head tells me to calm down.”
- “Morana had spent hours hunting down a vampire belonging to a particular tribe or pack or whatever they called it, so she wasn’t about to let this vampire escape.”
For those 3 novels, it’s those sentences that popped into my head.
I started writing A Blanket Unwoven sometime in 2008, probably in June. I have no idea when I finished it, probably before May 2009, because that’s when I started writing Kenna’s Choice.
- I take months to write short to very short novels
- I don’t write every day when I’m writing a novel, even though I try to
- I listen to music when I write
- I close the door when I write
- I do not write more than one novel at a time
- The first chapter of a novel is the easiest part for me
- I write in chronological order — I don’t write chapter 1 then chapter 4 then chapter 2 then 3, but sometimes I’ll write a couple hundred words of a scene that takes place later in the book
- I use Scrivener to write — I switch to TextEdit or DarkRoom or plain old paper if I’m having trouble writing
- My novels are dialogue-heavy
- My novels are family-themed (but not suitable for the whole family–too many bad things happen and there is way too much swearing, violence and death)
- I tend to write urban fantasy (i.e. vampires, werewolves, fairies, witches, etc)
- And yet my first novel was a YA with no supernatural elements
I hope this huge, messy post makes sense and amused you. Leave a comment or go write a blog post about how YOU write. Next Thursday, Maria will guest post about how she writes.
And here’s a video about how another write writes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yyl9Zt9XxU8&feature=youtu.be