Monday, March 7, 2011

The Novel, Guerrilla Style Part 5: Anthony's three in one system

So, we've sat through some great topics: the novel descriptions and plot and that sort of thing. I would venture to guess that a few inspirational statements would go a long way after the interlude last week. I'm sure. But my biggest inspirational statement is: go and do it, you can do it and if you don't, then who will?
As we've discussed the whole guerrilla nature of this, we'll continue on with my method.
I suppose many books in the how-to section of the novel-writing department are nothing more than a writer's disclosure, so here's mine.
I made the claim that I can write a novel in anywhere between eight and fifteen weeks. The average being around twelve weeks. So, in that 12 weeks, I will draft a novel, create a second draft and work on and complete a third draft.
At this point in your project, I hope that you have started to figure out your mode of work. I hope you have learned to set the time aside and actually work, for this is the only way it gets completed.
So, I'm sure you can elegantly explain your process now. The best thing to do is to explain your process. Write your process down, and now you'll have a basis for your work as a guerrilla novel writer.

Here's my process:
I get up and tidy the kitchen and brew the coffee. The kitchen is always clean, but a few minutes putting dishes away gets my mind settled. The reason I do this is because I work at the kitchen table. Once the coffee's ready, I settle in and make a list. The list has a few notes, directions, or minutia on it.
From there, I turn on the computer and I start working on the second draft where I left off from the day before. As some of you know, I write everything long hand. The stupid cursive words, almost five words per line of the wide ruled 9 3/4 x 7 1/2 composition notebook pages are draft number one. We'll get back to that.
As I said, the second draft is typed in a transcription, after all, a word document is so much more workable than the pen and ink page. At this stage, I will rework things, add to and subtract from the initial draft. I will type on average 20-40 handwritten pages. That becomes 7 to 14 double spaced courier 12 pt font pages. Once I'm done with the daily second draft, I go back to where I left off on the third draft.
In the third draft, I'm generally dozens of pages back. I'll set hooks, rework things that comprise future events, stuff like that. This part of the drafting process takes the longest.
I try to get both of these drafts down before work (the place I go for paycheck earnings).
In the afternoon I retreat to the composition notebook. This is the original laptop, right?
Then with quick speed I begin to tell the story again from where I left off the first draft. The first draft is the best, of course. I love this step of the process. You should too, because here it doesn't have to make sense. You can diagram, use funny forms or sloppy structure. For me, I'll write for almost an hour. Once that's completed, I'm off to do other things. I have several hours to think about what I've written before the second draft begins again the next day.
And quite simply this is how I write three drafts in the prescribed time.
Whatever system works for you, learn it, define it, understand it and employ it.

Good luck and happy writing.

No comments:

Post a Comment