The Pre-Writing Process: A Day in the Life of a Freelancer

DSC00716It’s amazing how much work goes on even before the pen hits the page. This morning I spent an hour scheduling interviews and communicating with various collaborators. Then came the interview prep and research. Then the actual interviews. Two today: one with a designer and one with a composer. After that, I’ll transcribe both and then locate which quotes to pull or information to use.

Once all of that is done, then I get to write. So now at 4 in the afternoon I’m finally settling down–not to write yet, but to organize outlines and update action lists.

Writing takes a lot of information gathering. Sometimes what’s inside your head is sufficient, and that’s fantastic. You’ll get through the process much more quickly that way. But as your writing projects get more complex, so does the information gathering side of things.

But that’s the fun of it, right? When we research, we get to learn about all aspects of life and interact with so many different personalities. Even though we don’t always travel far, our understanding of the world broadens with each story, each article, and each book.

If you want to engage more complex projects, I’d advise that you read through StoryForge’s articles on collaboration and networking. You can also find a few pointers on research here

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writing-questions-answered:

Resources: Grief and PTSD

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Recently I’ve been following my own advice on how to research for your novel with textbooks, interviews, and documentaries. All of you NaNoWriMo lovelies should probably check it out, since you’re scurrying to prep all of your material! Right now, I’m reading The Odyssey for the first time since freshman year of high school and (no surprise) it’s a lot better than I remembered.

What are you researching? How’s it coming?

September Update: 10k / 15k

Today is going to be write-tastic! I get to interview a guy about weaponry and combat tactics this afternoon, and then I’ll have an evening of writing with a friend. I think I’ve decided that I really like interviewing people—learning about their experiences and perspectives can be so eye opening.

What about you? Excited about any writerly plans today?