A Rambling on my Writing Process

It is 6:03 am, and I wrote 1,911 word ‘today.' Today happens to be the period I was awake, albeit ‘today' is currently Sunday.

That's about 1,911 words more than I usually manage on a Saturday, so I'm extremely pleased with myself. The scene I was working on turned out better than I thought.

Here is an update on estimated word counts and progress on Inquisitor. For those of you who don't follow me on Google+, I have been sharing my progress on the drafting and editorial of one of my novels I'm releasing in 2014.

Average transcribed words per page (real): 257.63
Original estimated transcribed word count per page: 228
Original estimated transcribed manuscript total: 82,308
New estimated transcribed manuscript total: 93,004

This demonstrates an interesting part of my writing process: I add a lot of things when I transcribe. I flush out scenes. I modify the tension, the pacing, and the general development. I try to accomplish the tone of the reading while I transcribe.

The first draft — written in my moleskines — is rarely ‘copy perfect.' I am constantly adapting what I write. My moleskine writing captures the essence of the scene.

The transcription, where a massive amount of editorial takes place, is capturing everything else. I don't want to say I'm capturing the beauty of the scene, though it's definitely where I take the spark of creativity forming in the moleskine and give it life as I add it to the computer.

This is what people may find interesting, though. When I work on the moleskine, I usually write one page in 15 minutes. 10 minutes if I'm having a really, really good day. Usually, 15 minutes will sack me around 175 actual words on a moleskine page.

This transforms to 250 words when I transcribe.

Transcription is where the majority of my editorial takes place. Yes, I do copy and line and proofing edits after transcription, but the bulk of my developmental editorial happens during the transcription phase.

The true bulk of the work happens during transcription.

The irony, such as it is, is the fact that I love the transcription process almost as much as I love writing in my moleskine journal. It isn't just copying words.

It's writing.

It's taking something lackluster and trying my hardest to make it something beautiful. This is why I love editing.

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3 comments
Nicky says January 23, 2014

thanks for sharing a bit about your writing process – very interesting to learn about what happens before the book is finished.

Reply
Leonard says January 25, 2014

Rambling is my favorite genre! But be careful my child, your words are quite powerful. The weapon you are brandishing, (loud mouth), in this case, (written word), written word) is threatening insecure readers. Likely, due to the caliber of your anti-personnel munitions.
After reviewing your ramblings, the publisher feels as if you are attempting to threaten her job. In reality, essentially, she doesn’t understand she works for you and the public.
I’m a mysterious seer from the citadel of public truth and free internet protocol policy procedure. I live underground, although, popular culture holds I live in the clouds. Farewell wayward rambler.

Reply
    RJBlain says January 26, 2014

    Well, I have to admit, this comment left me scratching my head at first, then giggling. Then I started laughing outright. Thanks for the humor and the laugh.

    Perhaps publishers should feel threatened. After all, if they lose their reputation as the shining example of what books should be, readers (like me) may start moving elsewhere.

    Reply
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