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Shadow of the Sun
Key of Pearl: A Timeless Novella

I know I promised to tell you guys why I disappeared for a while. The honest truth is that I’ve written a blog post, but I just haven’t had the courage to press “Publish” quite yet. Bare with me. Until then, I’d like to change up the pace and discuss more along the lines of what my writing process is. For you authors (or wanna be authors), this one’s for you.

There are times when my writing process is interrupted, be that someone dies or the world explodes. Or both. This is why I don’t put out five to six manuscripts a year. I usually write 2.5-4, though the revision process is what takes so long. Writing to me used to be hard. I had to force or trick myself to do it. But after all these years, I’ve finally figured out why I was having such a hard time writing: it’s because I was attempting to wear too many hats while writing the first draft. Be an editor, revisor, critic, which are things I do in drafts 2-10. It’s hard. So now that I know how to write a first draft, that it’s okay to write pure crap that no one will see, EVER, I don’t have such an issue writing anymore.

So here’s my journey of all the crazy things I’ve done  . . .

Since 2009, these strange yet fun techniques helped me get words on the page to some degree of success (hello, I wrote all those books):

- I’ve used a program called Dragon Dictate, which allows me to dictate my book to the computer. Brilliant program . . . if you use the right mic and no one is screaming in the background. Not recommended for authors who write when their children are awake. Or if anyone is awake. I have my own office on my own floor. Most aren’t so lucky.

- There are times I’ve done middle of the night drives where I use a recorder app on my phone to tell my story like someone else is with me (this doesn’t have to be done in the car, but driving keeps me from being distracted from all the shiny things). Later, I’ll listen and type it up. What’s one of the more entertaining things about this is that I pause sometimes to give driving advice to those around me. And of course it is recorded. Makes me laugh every time. I’ve also caught myself doing voices and accents. No, you will NEVER hear any of these sessions (and there are hours worth).

- I have a super love relationship with the Write or Die app on my Mac (there’s a free version, though you have to use it directly on their website). I finished writing Key of Pearl, a 27k word novella, in a week because of Write or Die. The harder I set my challenge, the better. I would write 2-2.5k words/hour. You can also challenge other authors who have the app. I’ve done many writing sessions with authors who follow me on Twitter.

-  In the past, when I’ve gotten stuck, I’ve written directly to my story editor (Lisa Langdale) via Yahoo! chat. Literally, right in the chat screen. It helped because she was able to give me immediate feedback and her reaction to my story. Plus, she always wanted more and pressed me for words. Since I hadn’t written them yet, she gave me the extra push I needed to type what happens next in my story. For some reason, writing in chat always brings out the funny in me, because only when I’m chatting with Lisa do I become a comedian. (Really.)

- I’ve hand-written whole sections of my books. I have so many filled notebooks it isn’t even funny. Trees weep over my use of paper (sorry). But I have a wrist that can’t keep up with my pace, which is why I bought a typewriter (yes, you read that right). There’s something very tangible and real about putting pen to paper, and even now I find myself using my notebook.

- One manuscript I co-authored with Lisa (The Acid Method), and we used Google Docs to write chapters together in real time. We’d pick which characters we’d want to be in a scene and use an outline to write together. Turned out beautifully because the dialogue was real and unpredictable. Often times hysterical. (Or at least we thought so.) For writers co-authoring, I highly suggest trying this at least once.

Now, I usually write in silence, in my office, on a typewriter, in the middle of the night. I write fast and simply. After the first draft is written, I use my laptop to revise. But I’m not one for habits, so it won’t be long before I’m bouncing on to the next idea. And who knows what that’ll be.

Writers, how do *you* get words on paper?

My next blog post will be about the revision stage. STAY TUNED!

xoxo Laura

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  • Amanda <span itemscope="itemscope" itemtype="http://schema.org/Person"> <span style="display:none;"><a rel="author" name="comment_author" itemprop="name" href="" title="author">Amanda</a></span></span>

    I always find how authors write, their process, to be fascinating. Mostly, I’m still figuring mine out. I haven’t finished my first novel yet, but I’m at least working on it. Finally. I write in stages, and I only realized this last month. The first go through is just to get the bones of the story down (after all the world building and outlining has happened). This pass happens in my notebook, long hand. The second is to add in details, dialogue, and to clarify things, which happens as I type up my notes. These two passes aren’t different drafts, because I write them at the same time. I’ll write a few pages, maybe a whole chapter, by hand, then type it up and add to it. The third stage is happening several chapters at a time, as I email my progress to a writer friend and get feedback on it. I add my changes and more clarification in and that spurs me on to the next bits in the story. Going back and forth all the time, but still writing things in linear order, helps me to keep everything fresh in my mind so that I can weave all the little details together.

  • Scott Zachary <span itemscope="itemscope" itemtype="http://schema.org/Person"> <span style="display:none;"><a rel="author" name="comment_author" itemprop="name" href="" title="author">Scott Zachary</a></span></span>

    My last novella was written in equal parts longhand, on an old Underwood typewriter, on my phone, on my iPad, and on my laptop. I prefer analog writing tools, but I’m not mystical about it, and when I’m on a roll I find myself writing what I can, where I can, with what I can, whenever I can. When I hit a particularly tricky part though, I find longhand to be the best method for breaking through the block. Haven’t tried dictation yet.

  • http://laurakreitzer.com/ Laura Kreitzer <span itemscope="itemscope" itemtype="http://schema.org/Person"> <span style="display:none;"><a rel="author" name="comment_author" itemprop="name" href="" title="author">Laura Kreitzer</a></span></span>

    You’ll soon discover the strange things you’ll do to finish your story. :D

  • http://laurakreitzer.com/ Laura Kreitzer <span itemscope="itemscope" itemtype="http://schema.org/Person"> <span style="display:none;"><a rel="author" name="comment_author" itemprop="name" href="" title="author">Laura Kreitzer</a></span></span>

    I’ll cover how my drafting works on Monday! :)

  • bandmum1 <span itemscope="itemscope" itemtype="http://schema.org/Person"> <span style="display:none;"><a rel="author" name="comment_author" itemprop="name" href="" title="author">bandmum1</a></span></span>

    Thank you for sharing this. You’ve made some points I need to consider, and introduced some tools I can’t wait to try.
    The majority of my writing has been of fanfic, so I sadly don’t have the luxury of editors. I’m most fond of the pen-and-notebook method and am quite guilty of correcting and editing as I go. Sometimes better wording just has to happen immediately, resulting in crossed out bits and tiny sentences running up the margins. (sigh)
    My second draft happens as I type up the first, followed by a read-aloud session by myself. Once I’m satisfied that I’ve caught everything that my eyes can see, I send it to my beta. I’ve had several, with varying levels of skill. The one I learned from the most was an actual editor, and she not only kept me on my grammar-toes, but often added line-by-line side note reactions to the story as she read. My current beta makes corrections and gives me her overall impressions when she returns the draft. Once I tweak until I can’t look at it anymore (pretty much the ‘crowning’, if you will), I post it, sigh, cry post-partum tears, and then nervously wait for readers to comment.
    Next time I will try to simply put down a rough draft and save the editing/revising/critique for later, but I can’t make any promises!

  • Derik Chapman <span itemscope="itemscope" itemtype="http://schema.org/Person"> <span style="display:none;"><a rel="author" name="comment_author" itemprop="name" href="" title="author">Derik Chapman</a></span></span>

    Thank you for sharing! I also struggle with editing my writing as I’m going along and get hung up on specific sentences and paragraphs. I don’t write professionally but have written so many papers for college that seem to take forever cause I edit and revise as I go along. I started graduate school this month and my goal is to actually write drafts and not revise and edit. This is going to be a challenge for me because I’ve been writing the same way for all of my life, but I know my writing will improve dramatically if I let my thoughts flow and not get hung up on perfection!

  • Tom O’Connor <span itemscope="itemscope" itemtype="http://schema.org/Person"> <span style="display:none;"><a rel="author" name="comment_author" itemprop="name" href="" title="author">Tom O’Connor</a></span></span>

    Dictation software is tricky – Even for a 1st draft, I know I would tend to talk toooooo much and go off on a bunch of rambling tangents etc. I really do like google docs for collaborating and also for just being able to write on my (android) phone even when I’m off-line. As a mac user I also love a program called “Scrivener.” (this is NOT a paid endorsement) it is a great (and cheap) wordprocessing program that has a ton of great organizational features – esp. useful for long / complicated projects, but I use it for everything. I’m a nightowl & insomniac, so I write mostly at night (but I do enjoy writing 1st thing after waking up) since my environment can sometimes be noisy, I put on headphones and listen to music with NO LYRICS. … usually ‘theta’ brainwave music by various artists.

  • http://laurakreitzer.com/ Laura Kreitzer <span itemscope="itemscope" itemtype="http://schema.org/Person"> <span style="display:none;"><a rel="author" name="comment_author" itemprop="name" href="" title="author">Laura Kreitzer</a></span></span>

    I have used Scrivener before, and I liked it all right. It was just too much for me to use while writing. I write THEN add to Scrivener.

  • http://laurakreitzer.com/ Laura Kreitzer <span itemscope="itemscope" itemtype="http://schema.org/Person"> <span style="display:none;"><a rel="author" name="comment_author" itemprop="name" href="" title="author">Laura Kreitzer</a></span></span>

    Exactly! Good luck. :)

  • http://laurakreitzer.com/ Laura Kreitzer <span itemscope="itemscope" itemtype="http://schema.org/Person"> <span style="display:none;"><a rel="author" name="comment_author" itemprop="name" href="" title="author">Laura Kreitzer</a></span></span>

    My method might not work for all. However, I’ve tried almost every way imaginable to get those words on paper, and the best and quickest way for me is to tell my internal editor to STFU!:D

  • Pingback: FAQ About Self-PublishingLaura Kreitzer

Love’s Paradox
Love’s Paradox

Available on NetGalley Now!

KEY OF PEARL
KEY OF PEARL

A Timeless Series Novella.
Available now!

Writing Projects

Halo of the Sun
(Timeless, #5)

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Webs of Convexity
(Tocsin Saga, #1)

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Defying Gravity
(Paradoxical World, #2)

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Silent Forest
(Summer Chronicles, #4)

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The Acid Method
(Silvers, #1)

Currently Reading
Storm Born
Shadow's Edge
The Sapphire Talisman
Angel Star
Out of the Silent Planet
KINDLE GRAPH