November 9, 2018

The Process

Often in panels and Q&A's comes up a question about the writing process, so it's reasonable to think this might interest somebody.

Rules I usually follow when I write

- I start writing long before I have a plan, the minute I come up with a first paragraph. I don't do lay-outs or synopsis. Usually all I have is a premise, and an idea for a climax; I'll come up with the middle as I go.

- I write in the order people will read it, never skip ahead. Not a chapter, not a graph. If I'm stuck thinking of a good joke, I'm stuck. I don't write a bad joke, I don't write "[insert joke]".

- I don't write drafts. The first version has to read like a finished work. It's not the finished work; I edit a lot; but it has to be a finished work.

- I don't bother to figure out things that won't be in the book. If I'm not talking about a character's background, they don't have one.

- I try to keep the number of characters at a minimum.

- I do little research. It's boring, and it tends to contradict or nuance the more interesting scenario that I had envisioned.

- Brevity is an underestimated quality.

Rules I'm following in my current work in progress

- None of the above.