~Step #1: What to Cover~
This isn't that hard. This is where I decide what needs to happen in a chapter. Because if I don't go in with goals . . . it'll just be a bunch of cool and pointless conversations between my favorite characters. Not that I mind, but it's not quite fair to the reader . . .
~Step #2: Outline- Optional~
Yep, you read that right. Outline- optional. I like to outline, I do. But sometimes it's better for me just to let the story go where it wants to as long as I weave in everything I needed to. I can't come up with anything besides the big picture until I actually get down into the story. So I'm half plotter, half pantser, just to make life complicated :)
~Step #3: Begin Writing~
Starting a chapter can sometimes be the hardest thing for me. Because I know where I'm going and how I finished last time. But where do I start? Gemma getting out of bed every morning gets redundant pretty fast ;) This is why I'm doing the March Challenge. I just have to write and see what happens.
~Step #4: Dry Spell~
This is a step I would love to be optional, and, trust me, it's unplanned. But every chapter, from the first to the nineteenth, has had at least one section that I just didn't know how to write. I don't know how to make it fit, or don't know what needs to come next. You name it, something will always throw me for a loop.
~Step #5: Procrastinate~
~Step #6: Keep Writing~
If I don't get back to it, there will never be a completed chapter and that would be awful. This is where I finally sit down, crest the hill, and go racing down to the bottom, aka: the end of my chapter. A very glorious moment, where it is deadly to interrupt my work. Deadly.
~Step #7: Research~
Since I hate being interrupted, I can't even stand to interrupt myself. Stopping mid-sentence to go look up a definition or person's name can be catastrophic. I have come back from that Google search with my answer, but no clue where I was going with that thought one too many times. So I research the big blanks I left myself at this point.
~Step #8: Fill Plot Holes~
There's usually some crucial detail I remember at this point that has to be skillfully woven in. Not a huge deal . . . as long as I do remember. Something always slips my mind, but that's okay. That's why I have my faithful team of alphas.
~Step #9: Finally Finish~
~Step #10: Read Over- Optional~
Hehe. Yeah, so sometimes I'm so weary of a chapter when I finish that I don't even want to see it for weeks. So I just forget about all the potential grammar bombs and plot holes and leave them to my trusty alpha team.
~Step #11: Share~
Aren't I a nice person? In all seriousness, though, sharing my work is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Ever. All the questions about how these people will react to my brain child run through my head. Or at least they did the first time. Now I have people I love and trust handling my work. And there is nothing quite so satisfying as sharing the love of your work with someone else :) It's the step that upgraded me from a scribbler to a writer.
~Step #12: Panic Attack~
It's amazing how every time, without fail, as soon as I click the share button and my chapter zips off to all my alphas' inboxes, something punches me in the stomach. This is where I scramble to add that little detail before they lay eyes upon it. But sometimes, when I really don't care, I just put it on my to-do list and move on. My apologies, dear alphas.
So there you have it. How I write a chapter. I hope you weren't bored out of your skull and are still reading ;) You are? Good for you! Let me know what you thought! And now I want to know how you write a chapter. Or blog post. Either one works for me :D Also ('cuz there always has to be an also), check out Tessa's great link-up idea! Have a lovely Easter!