Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A matter of process . . .

Here's my thing.  Nigel Bird has asked me to do one of his self-interview wotsits for his brilliant site - Sea Minor.  And I'm trying to come up with some questions to ask myself.  I've got a few, just need a few more.  But they'll come.  Anyway, one of them, quite a basic one really, was about the process I go through to write a story - from idea to submission.

And I wondered what yours was.  Your process.  How does the fire strike, and what process do you go through till you've finally nailed the wotsit?


  1. How does the fire strike?

    You make it sound so exciting!!!

    There is no fire striking for me. I approach it from an angle of complete and utter apathy. I start writing and I write until it seems finished. No planning. No editing (apart from grammar and spelling clean ups). And no afterthought.

    Then I sit back and wait for success and recognition. I'm still waiting. But Lord knows I deserve it.

  2. I basically just start writing words like UV. For instance, I just completed a flash about a world being born of words, and cosmic squirrel deleters, that started with the words, "Rancid. They fell from the sky." I never, ever could have outlined or foresaw a story like this. I think once you catch fire, its important to let the story complete itself as quickly as possible.

    Let us know when you dance.. interview with yourself. ;-)

  3. It's the voices. They start chattering in my head and I listen and then write it all down.

    Look forward to the interview - go you! :)

  4. Guess I'm the odd one out. My planning process is fairly deliberate. Usually I come up with an idea from something I see or read--and then I just expand on it. Put the idea in different scenarios, see what works best. Usually start with the notepad and a cup of coffee, a lot of thinking, trying out stuff. Then when I have a good structure, I head to the computer... and more coffee!

    For my last story, I had read a good double-cross story by Nolan Knight (where the main character gets screwed at the end). I decided I wanted to do something where it appears to be a double-cross story and then isn't. That was the original idea and then I built around that.

  5. For me. Edit edit edit. I think the best words to describe the first version of a story I put to paper are Annie Lamott's: The Shitty First Draft.
    Yup, that's me. Only solution is, again, edit edit edit. Most of my stuff is in its 10th to 20th version before it gets sent out. I have to admit that the last few drafts are mostly about word choice and page/paragraph arrangement.

  6. An idea'll come to me, usually at night while I'm trying to sleep. Most of the time its just a few lines or a situation. Over a few days my head turns it into something longer. Then I write it, leave it a few days then edit it.

    I've got one at the moment floating round about a cordless drill, a gobshite and a three fingered hard bastard.