Everyone has a writing process that fits their own needs. I am a visual learner, thus I am a visual writer. My writing process is visual no matter the genre.
When writing poetry, I first think of an image that stands out. This becomes the central theme to my poem. I keep that image in my mind’s eye as I complete the poem. I first write the poem in a notebook that I always carry with me. I edit directly in my notebook; when satisfied with it, I copy it in my poetry journal. In this way, I have so far finished eight journals of poetry. Not that quantity matters; I hardly revisit them. It just gives me a reason to collect pretty journals!
For novels and novellas (and research papers) I have to start with an outline. The outline details each major plot point that will occur, as I am story-oriented (storiented?). From there, I detail the outline further to include the happenings within each plot point and how they connect. Once the outline is complete, I start writing. While I can write on a computer, I prefer to write most of the first draft on pen and paper. This way, I edit as I type. (I even do this with blog posts!) By the time my manuscript is typed, it’s on its second draft!
Going back to what I said before, I am a visual learner and a visual writer. I need to hold the outline in my hands, then the typed and printed manuscript. I need to feel the pages between my fingers and the raised ink of the text under my fingertips.
What’s your writing process? Is it consistent, or does it change depending on the genre?