I attended my first writing-workshop yesterday afternoon. I would have died for something like this in High School. We met in a small room in the campus center, sat at a huge table and pulled out our notebooks. The president read prompts from a book and we had roughly 10 minutes to write a response. We where on a time crunch so we didn’t have much time to review and critique each others prompts. **
None the less, the entire event really made my think about my writing process. (And the cupcakes being sold upstairs for a fundraiser.)
When I write, I start with the rough draft of a rough draft. It’s a lot like making cupcakes: First, I have to gather the ingredients.
The first attempt at writing chapters is often several paragraphs of jotted thoughts, feelings, and dialogue without tags. More than half of my sentences are run-ons and the tense varies profusely. Pieces I wrote in second grade are more coherent.
My next re-write, however, is now 10x easier. I have the basic “ingredients” of my chapter. Now I put them in order, decide how much I’m keeping and how much is really nonsense. I do another re-write a few days after and fix the obvious mistakes- I “bake” my chapter-cake. Finally, I send it to my critique partner. While I can’t send her cupcakes, she can “taste” my chapter and tell me what there’s not enough or too much of.
And then I start the entire process all over again.
Read last night’s prompts here and here.