Writing Process: Build Up Your Writing To Write Faster And Better

Writing Process: Build Up Your Writing To Write Faster And Better

Professional writers have a writing process. For everything. For fiction, nonfiction — there’s always a process. Beginning writers write, but pro writers build.

They start by creating the raw material. In my Top 70 Writing Tips, I called creating your raw materials making mud:

Look on all the writing you do as “making mud”. Be exuberant and messy.

You can do a lot with your mud. Just as you can build entire houses with mud bricks, you can write articles, novels, nonfiction books, short stories, essays, memoirs – in short, you can write anything and everything, if you make the basic building material, the “mud” first.

You can relax when you tell yourself that you’re just making mud

Once you realize that you’re just “making mud” when you’re writing, you stop worrying. There’s nothing serious about mud. You just write, and you know that you’ll sort out your creations later.

I’m winding up a long fiction project, and am planning a new trilogy. I’ve started creating the mud:

  • Scene locations
  • Character attributes and descriptions
  • Potential flaws for my main characters
  • And so on…

Usually I write my mud, and never look at it again. Its sole purpose is to kickstart my subconscious mind. At heart, I’m a fiction-writing pantser, but I know the plot points I have to hit, so I plan them in advance. That gives me a rough framework on which to hang my fiction.

By the way, if you’re not a fiction writer, a “pantser” is someone who writes by the seat of their pants, doing minimal plotting

This new project is a trilogy, so I’m planning the overall plot arcs… by making mud.

You need lots of materials to create anything

New authors want to write a project from go to whoa. It’s possible to do that, and sometimes you’ll manage it. However, it’s stressful.

Making mud is easier. It’s faster, too. You’ll also find that your writing inevitably improves, because you’re not insisting that your writing be perfect, at any stage.

The “mud” process is essential when you’re writing marketing materials. I explain my building-blocks process for copywriting in Copywriting for Writers. You create copy blocks, and then you put them together to write a sales page or series of advertisements, or whatever copy you’re writing.

Start a project by asking yourself what you need to create for that project

Write down the answer. “Write for this project I need”… and start thinking on paper.

Please do this.

I encourage my writing students to think on paper (or on the computer screen), because it saves time. Writers get stuck on projects because they haven’t broken down the project into tasks, and then they try to start writing immediately, without any form of pre-writing.

You can look on making mud as a form of prewriting. Essentially, it breaks your inertia, so you get moving on your projects.

Try it yourself. When making mud becomes part of your writing process, you’ll write more, and much more easily.

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, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Earn while you learn, with Angela’s Writing Classes..

Writing Journal 19: Edits and Sunday Blogging

Writing Journal 19:  Edits and Sunday Blogging

My writing journal for Sunday, August 31, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Fiction focus today

I received novella #3 back from the editor last night, so I’ve decided to focus on fiction this morning. I’m on-track for the nonfiction book, so that’s fine.

I slept in this morning (horrors), so I need to get caught up. It won’t be a full working day because it’s Sunday, which means I have commitments.

I managed to get a couple of timer sessions (35 minutes each) of novella #4 done, with 2,300 words. However, I’ll need to do a read-through because the characters aren’t reacting the way I expected they would. In a way, that’s fine, because the characters are starting to drive the book; in another way, it’s a disaster. Over the years, I’ve found that characters can drive a book right off a cliff. I may need to back up a couple of scenes.

Time for Honey’s breakfast.

Then my own breakfast, while reading email. I’m still hugely impressed with Mailbox. It’s a delight to use on a phone. It’s intelligent too. It picks up what you want to do with a message from how you’ve handled similar messages in the past. It offers to handle future messages for you in the same way.

Lots of student emails today. I’m a little behind on student feedback. I made some notes on student projects I read on my iPad last night. I’ve just got to call up Notability on my Mac this morning, and copy the notes to email, and send them off.

Edits of novella #3

I’ve looked the material over, and there isn’t much to do. However “much” is relative. It’s a long novella. I could have made it shorter, if I’d taken the characters in hand. :-) Not to worry, it will get done today, then it gets shipped off to the client.

I’ve got a lot of client blogging to do today. However, I’ll leave that for this afternoon. I’ll focus on the edits for now.

Whew — the edits are done. Time to leave it for now; before I’m late…

Back again: final read of novella #3

I’m back. I do a quick read of novella #3, and it’s time to focus on creating draft posts for my own and clients’ blogs.

Finally done. Sadly, not as many draft posts as I’d hoped to do. Enough for now. Time for the daily review, and word count. And that’s it for today. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Pro Writer Success Package: Final Hours in Exclusive Offering

Pro Writer Success Packge

We’re in the final hours of the Pro Writer Success Package.

As I said here, Pro Writer Success Package: From Amateur Writer to Pro:

“Each week, I get a slew of messages from writers telling me their story, and asking me to give them the secret.

They want one SECRET…

Which of my guides, they ask, will take them from hobbyist to pro?

They’re asking for a ticket to success, of course.”

If you’re a writer, and want a successful writing career, the Pro Writer Success Package is for you.

Launch: Fab Freelance Writing Pro — for Professional Writers

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Fab Freelance Writing Pro has finally launched. It’s been promised for over a year, and I think the time’s right for it now.

I hesitated over the launch because the number of writers making great full-time incomes online was low for a long time. (I didn’t want to take the risk that I’d launch this publication, and end up talking to myself. :-))

When I first launched the freelance writing blog and its companion freelance writing ezine in 2006, developing a career based solely on writing for the Web seemed outlandish to many writers.

Fast-forward to 2011, all the naysayers are working on the Web, as their magazine and newspaper gigs blow away with the wind… I hate saying “I told you so”, so I won’t…

What can you expect in our bi-weekly issues?

Essentially, as I say on the site:

No set format: you receive hard-hitting chats, tutorials, idea starters, hot keyword lists, and helpful programs I’ve discovered and present to you. Each issue is different, each issue boosts your confidence and your skills.

Get the tools, and learn the processes, to become prolific and successful.

Have fun with everything you write. The key to writing success is enjoyment – you’ll discover how to make writing fun, and keep it fun, while making money.

You receive everything I don’t want to share publicly, and which isn’t included in my many writing guides.

I’ve been longing for a platform where I can say: “Hey look at this…” or “Stop doing that NOW…” or “Use this…” Having lots of blogs is excellent, but they’re public. FFW Pro is for insiders. :-)

One of the benefits of spontaneous publication (I’ll be publishing at least twice a month, occasionally more often) is that I can post what I want, when I want. I’m very excited about it, and if you want to write with me, you’re assured that we’ll have lots of fun. :-)

If you have something you’d like me to discuss or explain in FFW Pro, please let me know.