Here’s the thing, I have the attention span of a gnat on crack.
I’m an author who has ADD and my creative process isn’t easy to follow. In fact, I don’t recommend it to anyone (who doesn’t have ADD) and who wants to keep any semblance of sanity after their editor sends their manuscript back.
Not only do I have an odd (and sometimes, completely inappropriate) sense of humor. I LOVE ellipses and dashes. I write dialog exactly as I speak it – kinda like talking in shorthand with a potty mouth (With many interruptions)
And did I mention I have ADD?
While all that is part of my charm and keeps ME highly entertained, it can sometimes pose a challenge for my editor. Let’s have a moment of silence while I bow down before her.
Read a few of my blogs and you’ll know hard she works
I have scores of scenes that never make it into my books. I have hundreds of little scraps of paper littering my desk, car, side table, etc. Not to mention – the six or so yellow tablets lying in strategic places in my house. You know, just in case I have an idea and I’m not at my desk.
Ooooh, yes! I should write that down – somewhere – I might need it.
These are not limited to any manuscript that I am currently working on. I have titles for books, but no stories yet. I have scenes and conversations for my NEXT book. I have character names for the book after THAT. Song lyrics and poetry are jotted down alongside grocery & to-do lists.
You get the picture.
So, while I went through edits on my first two books – I tried to edit the same way I wrote. This is what I looked like after a day on the computer…
For some reason, I thought I was all alone on this author-ship. I sat in silence, cried, and tore my hair out. I was under the impression if I asked questions or stated my concerns ya’ll would know I was an intruder in your very talented midst. I was terrified for someone to ask me anything about how I wrote a book.
I certainly didn’t feel qualified to answer you.
Funny story about that – I was at a dinner with BSB folks during the GCLS Conference and the lovely woman next to me said she was having a difficult time writing from A-Z. I did something I had never done before! I shared my writing process.
“If you get stuck – open a new page and write another scene. You may end up with extras when you’re finished – but at least you’re spending time and having fun with your characters.”
I have a blast with mine.
You should see some of the stuff that DOESN’T make into the published versions.
Now on my third book’s edits, I’ve gotten over my shyness and I reach out. I ask questions. I’ve had wonderful input from other published authors and editors. In other words, I don’t spend time crying alone in the office with a manuscript while I bang my head on the keyboard. That’s huge growth for me.
*Cue Angels singing music*
This is what I’ve learned.
I’ve let my creative junkie get high (figuratively, folks) and run with her ideas. Now I have to come back and do something very important.
EDIT IN ORDER.
Once that manuscript comes back to me – I’m not going to skip around and edit what I want to first, then make myself suffer – because I no longer have to write/revise a scene ten times to fit the changes I made later in the story – or earlier – whichever the case may be.
No-one is more surprised that I am that it’s working. It’s really, really working.
Here is my advice and two cents for the week:
If you’re an author with ADD. By all means – run with your style and creativity.
BUT – Edit in order.
You will sleep better.
How do YOU write?
*Disclaimer – No editors, sharks, or kitties were injured during the writing of this blog!