Monday, February 19, 2007

How Do You Do That Thing You Do? Lucy Explains

Lucy McCarraher, author of Blood and Water, has posted the details of her writing process over on her blog.

She's very much one who plots in advance, with chapter breakdowns and the whole shebang, so if you're like me (that is, a bit vague most of the time) you'll want to read how she organizes it. Lucy's background is in television screenwriting, which, no matter how people snipe at TV, is a hyper-disciplined form with very specific parameters, like a sonnet.

Her method sounds like a great way to go, if you can get your mind to cooperate. (My flounder-ahead approach has the virtue of offering many surprises to the writer while writing; but many of those unexpected developments are surprises on the order of a flat tire.)


Lucy McCarraher said...

Hi David,
Thanks for that, and for your comment on my blog. Just had another rejection by an agent, so you cheered me up a bit by making me feel I was maybe still a bit of a writer. Despite the chapter breakdown I'm finding it very hard to get starting on novel no.3 - partly just the starting again thing, but in the context of what feels like failure it's even harder to get the energy up and running. Any remedies for that?
Lucy x

cate sweeney said...

Just go for it.
Mr Mikey is sad and waiting for you to invent him, don't plot him let him go. He sounds just the sort of character who would take over every situation anyway. He's wondering what you're waiting for?
It's always hard starting though isn;t it? And when we're well into it we can't really believe there once was nothing and these characters didn't exist.
If it were easy everyone would be do it...oh everyone is!
Are you into you next one yet David?

David Isaak said...

Hi Lucy! Left a note on your blog.

Hi Cate! And when are you going to post on your writing process?

Am I into my next one? Hmmm. I already completed a full draft after SMITE, but it needs to chill in a drawer for a while before I can assault it. And I have the opening chapter of another beyond that, BUT...

I'm actually fiddling about with the novel I wrote just prior to SMITE, provisionally entitled A MAP OF THE EDGE. If I say so myself, it has four wonderful opening chapters...but then goes off the rails. (And several agents told me almost exactly that, though I'm not sure any of them made it past page 200. I actually think the climax is pretty good, too.) But I'm beginning to think I may have to simply jettison (sorry about the split infintive) everything after chapter four and write from there.

Since I completed it some time ago, I'm almost ready to bite the bullet and get on with it.

I'm good at beginnings and not so great with the follow-through. I think that's probably a guy thing.