I get asked a lot about my “process” and I always kind of laugh and say I’d like to know what it is too! Or at least I’d like to HAVE a process. Because a process hints at some sort of organizational skills at least. Right?
But I was thinking earlier about how anal I actually am about the way I write my books. So I thought I’d give you guys a laugh and to answer all the people who ask about my PROCESS.
The only actual writing process I have is HOW I write and format my manuscripts. In no other aspect of my work am I remotely organized and yet my chapters and stuff have to be written a certain way or the world ends. Weird huh?
Here’s how it goes.
I write each chapter as an individual word file. But before that, I create a folder. Under a folder called Books. Original huh? So I have Books on my hard drive. When you click on books, you get folders and folders of stuff that says “KGI” or “Scottish Historicals” or “Berkley HEAT” Very specific, no? LOL. So then when you click on say the KGI folder, then you get the individual BOOKS so yeah yet another set of folders. Are you getting the idea I love folders?
So then I’ll have folders for The Darkest Hour. No Place to Run. Hidden Away. Whispers in the Dark. Echoes at Dawn. (And other assorted folders that have character names that I won’t mention because it would spoil some of the pairings haha)
Anyway, under each book folder, I have individual chapter files from 1 to however many there are in that book. And that’s the way I write them. I create a new file each time I start a new chapter and I save them as “Chapter 1” and “Chapter 2” and so on.
BUT and you knew I’d have to further complicate this, right?
So once I get like two chapters of a book written, I then create what I call a “Working Full” file. And this is where I reward myself every time I finish a chapter by copying and pasting it into the “Working Full” file because then I get to see the word count and page count go up each time I insert a new chapters. I like seeing those numbers go up lol.
When I get to the end of a book, you’d THINK I’d just edit the Working Full, right?
Nope. That working full is purely a reward system for me. I then go back and open each individual file starting with chapter one and I edit and when I am perfectly happy with the way that chapter reads, I then create a brand new file and this is the one that I actually name whatever the book title is. So right now I have “Echoes at Dawn” and when I finish editing chapter one, it gets pasted into that main document called Echoes at Dawn. And then I move on to chapter 2 file and I do the same.
Once I’ve compiled all of the individual chapter files into the main document with the book title as the file name, THEN I am ready to send that bad boy in to my editor. *g*
Now aren’t you sorry you ever asked about my process??