Welcome to the May Show, where we will chat and make cheesy puns and play games for the chance to win a lifetime supply of dried mangoes!
Just kidding. I could never host a TV show. (But a lifetime supply of dried mangoes sounds quite yummy.)
Though now that you’re all here 1 why don’t we analyze the Writing Process while we’re at it? And by analyzing, I mean ripping apart, because honestly, who analyzes anymore?
Whatever, annoying-inner-voice-May. Let’s just sit back, tear this overrated Writing Process apart, and devour some mango strips.
(Oh, you wanted some? #OopsMyBad)
1 And you’re all here because you love me and want to read my posts, instead of being mislead by the mangoes.
Also, there aren’t any graphics because 1) I’m too lazy to make them, and 2) I have to do homework. But I stuck in lots of gifs and images to compensate for the loss of my amazing graphics. You’re welcome.
WARNING: Slightly long post. #OopsMyBad
Step 1: Brainstorming
(in the form of lists, because LISTS)
- When I was young and naïve, my thought process was this: Why do we need to brainstorm? Do we think before we walk? (Answer: No.)
- But then I recently had to plot out a novel and I was like: HOLY MANGOES WHAT’S HAPPENING WHAT AM I DOING AAGGGH
- So now―
- Yet I still question…
- IS BRAINSTORMING REALLY NEEDED?
- Well of course it’s needed. Otherwise, you wouldn’t know half of what you were writing about.
- But what if you could just keep writing and writing and writing and writing and then BOOM―I have a novel finished and a developed (ish) plot. (Which would totally not happen because I have never ever finished a novel.)
- BUT WHAT IF YOU GET STUCK AND DON’T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO WRITE SINCE YOU DIDN’T PLAN OUT THE PLOT? HUH? HUH?
- Which is why we must all brainstorm!
- …What about SPONTANEITY.
- Who needs spontaneity?
- LIFE IS BORING WITHOUT SPONTANEITY.
- Ah, but in your brainstorming, you could plan on NOT killing anyone at all, but then, you end up killing five million people! Spontaneity!
- …Death automatically usurps everything. No fair.
- HOW MAY DOES STEP 1: Welp, I basically make character profiles, and write pages about the world for worldbuilding, draw maps (if I can), make plot structures, and in the future, I’m going to write outlines. BECAUSE I WILL FAIL HORRIBLY WITHOUT THEM.
Even though I’m already failing with one.
Step 2: Writing the First/Rough Draft
(another list, because, again, LISTS)
- Obviously, this step is needed. No argument about that.
- Well, you’re right. Without actually writing it, our novel/story/project/essay/whatever wouldn’t even exist.
- So… is that it?
- Pretty much. Except for the fact that without this step, we’d be doomed.
- But would we be doomed? What if we could form our story without actually writing it?
- Silly mango, of course we can form it. But we can’t actually make it exist.
- Fine. But how long does this step take?
- Again, silly mango, you know this. It can take up to five billion years 1 to five days. It really depends on the author.
- May takes more than a year to complete her first draft. She thinks her current novel will take up to Summer 2019. Because she is completely unmotivated.
- She also doesn’t know why she’s speaking in third person.
- HOW MAY DOES STEP 2: Um. I write. When I feel like it.
1 This is only if you live for five billion years. And obviously, only I can live that long.
Step 3: Editing/Revising
- If only May had ever finished a novel before. Then she could tell you all about her editing/revising process.
- (Oh, and the silly mango’s talking in third person yet again.)
- Basically, editing and revising is murdering your first draft. Which is why I like to print out my stories and scribble all over it and red pen. BLOOD.
- (She’s talking in first person again like a normal person!)
- (…Never mind.)
- But seriously, from what I’ve done (with only one story) is I print out the pages, take my red pen, and make marks all over it. I usually:
- read over it once and fix minor misspellings/typos/grammar issues
- read over it a second time and reword sentences, change sentences, take out sentences, add sentences, etc.
- read over it a third time and reword whole chunks (one paragraph to many paragraphs), change whole chunks, take out whole chunks, add whole chunks, etc.
- then repeat steps two and three until it’s clean and polished
- Of course, that’s what I did once. I’m sure that it’ll change in the future, when I actually edit/revise a completed project…
- But now let’s RIP IT APART.
- Is editing and revising really essential? When should they happen? Why should they happen?
- We need editing and revising because it fixes things and makes it better. Is this first draft perfect? NO. Do we need to change and fix and improve it? YES. Where does this happen? IN THE EDITING/REVISING PROCESS.
- Of course, many people just finish Step 2 of the Writing Process and BOOM they’re done. No more. They just can’t face that horrid little monster of a draft and stab it and make it bleed and torture it to the brink of death. (And some really good writers are able to kill their drafts, then bring it back to life.)
- WHAT IS A BOOK WITHOUT EDITING? WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF EDITORS IF WE DON’T EDIT? WILL WE EVER FIND OUT WHAT THE WRITE [ha. ha. ha.] WAY TO EDIT IS?
- (Answer: No.)
- HOW MAY DOES STEP 3: This was mentioned already, if you couldn’t read. But, if you couldn’t read, you wouldn’t be able to read what I’m saying here. So, you wouldn’t know how May does it. But you wouldn’t even know who May was (IT’S MEEE) since you couldn’t read any of this blog. Which is a truly sad fact, my friend. I’m sorry that you won’t ever get to experience my awesomeness.
Step 4: Publishing
(Technically, we should have five steps, and editing and revising are each their own step, but SHHHH.)
- The five fears of writers are:
- Sharing their writing
- No one liking their writing
- Having to take credit for a piece of writing
- Not getting credit for a piece of writing
- ANYTHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH THEIR WRITING AND OTHER PEOPLE
- We writers are very contradictory. Especially concerning the sharing of our writing. One minute we’re thinking, NO NO NO WHAT ARE YOU DOING BACK AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU HAVE A DEATH WISH, and the next, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE READ IT I NEED FEEDBACK PLEEEEASE READ IT UNLESS YOU WANT A DEATH WISH (I also need you to tell me how awesome my writing is/I am).
- (Notice how both scenarios end with a death wish.)
- But a lot of times, one’s novel/story/draft/project sits lonely in a notebook or a document folder. No one reads it.
- Is it necessary to publish? No. Is it good to publish? If it’s a good story.
- Publishing is giving a piece of yourself and putting it out there for the world. Even if it’s just sharing a tiny excerpt with your dog, you’re still giving up a part of you. But sometimes, we feel the need to keep it all to ourselves. Sometimes we feel that a story doesn’t need to be told, that its voice doesn’t need to be heard. And sometimes, that’s okay.
- But really, most of the time, someone out there wants to read your story. Someone out there wants to hear your voice. No matter what, we are writing to create and destroy and to build and break and… to share. Deep down, we want to share it. We want our stories and voices to be listened to, to be heard, to be wanted, to be loved. We write because we love it, and we want to spread that love around.
- So. Is publishing necessary? No. Is sharing necessary? No.
- But is making sure some part of your story is heard, even just an explanation or blurb or just ONE WORD?
- I say yes.
(And now I ruin this thoughtful, deep moment. With a gif. But that’s okay, because everyone loves gifs.)
- HOW MAY DOES STEP 4: What, you think I publish my work? Hahaha―#No. I mean, sometimes I share it with friends, but meh. I mean, I’ve never actually gotten to this step with a project, so I can’t say how exactly I do it…
- But I never ever share it with family. Unless they explicitly ask. Then I am obliged to give them my project, therefore ripping apart [AHAHAHAHA] my heart and soul.
Did you enjoy this post? Do you think I’m crazy? How does my writing process compare to yours? Do you think me crazy referring to myself as “I” and “you” and “she” at the same time??? LET’S CHAT!!!
My friend Ivy has started her very own blog! (Inspired by me, of course.) If y’all could go check it out, that would meant the world to her! Here’s the link: https://ivyoftheflame.wordpress.com/ You guys are the best! 😉