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  • Michelle Dykman

My writing process


We often ask writers what does your writing process look like?

The truth is, I don't really have one. I'm a plantser. Now if you're not sure what that is, let me explain. A plantser is a combination between a plotter and a pantser. Plotters are authors that write a book outline with extensive detail and write their novel using that plan. A pantser (aka more often than not me) is someone that writes by the seat of their pants or as the ideas come so they go onto paper.


Sometimes a story comes together seamlessly. The scenes line up in my head and then go flowing down onto the computer keyboard. Other stories have to yanked and coerced out of my imagination. For these stories, I use an unlined notebook and a good old-fashioned HB pencil and a novel planning book. These help to guide my ideas and make sure my story is hitting the correct beats.


I'm not a mood board kind of person but I do search for pictures of what my main characters look like, possibly the houses they live in or cars they drive and gradually with these the story scenes begin to form. My characters are often a reflection of my own situations or people I've met or come across. Many of my characters have faced some kind of tragedy in life and are finding their faith for the first time or finding it again after the tragedy.


Once the rough draft is written the editing begins. I don't like editing, if there was one part of the book writing process I would forgo it would be editing. But what doesn't defeat us only makes us stronger. So editing... a lengthy and tedious process but when you put the caterpillar in the cacoon, a butterfly emerges and this is exactly what happens to a book too. Once the editing process is complete, a shiny, complete story emerges to be shared with readers.


Sometimes this process might take a few weeks in others a few months but at the end all the slog, tears, hard work and hours present another story to the world.


Some resources I have loved using for book planning are:

  1. Save that cat! Writes a novel by Jessica Brody

  2. The Snow flake method by Randy Ingermanson (My favorite)

  3. Romancing the beat by Gwen Hayes (Imperative for anyone who write romance novels)

Just a side note: If you 're looking to fill up your TBR check out these books: http://bit.ly/FridayReads0521



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