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What does the writing process look like for me?

I am not an extensive planner when I write. Ironically, in real life I am a conscientious planner. So when I first began to write seriously, and attended some lectures and conferences, I thought that I must be the type of writer that planned the whole book down to the last detail because that was the type of person I was.
    After one lecture, I gathered a deck of 3x5 cards and wrote chapter numbers on each card and then wrote scenes on separate cards for each chapter. It was a disaster!  It was so artificial and boxed me into a writing cell of sorts. Thankfully, I realized pretty quickly that this was not a method that was for me ( though it is for many writers ) and threw the cards away. This liberated me to write with creative abandon and it was amazing to witness the story pour itself onto the page. I was often surprised and excited by how events developed, since I didn't know beforehand how things would work out. This is described in the writing world as being a 'pantzer' (sp?). I believe it is short for 'writing by the seat of your pants.'
    I know the beginning and the end of my stories but the rest is kind of unknown until the words are on the page.
    My characters are a little more planned but I allow myself to be flexible here too. I usually write a bio of each character for my reference, containing both physical and psychological characteristics. However, sometimes in the middle of a novel I realize that the character has developed in a different direction and I have to go back and alter my bio.
    As for the atmosphere that I write in, I am very fortunate not to need silence. I know that many writers do, and so I view this as a great blessing as I am able to write amidst the hustle and bustle of my family life and not have to closet myself away.


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