Hey bookworms! Today I have a guest post from the author of Bellewether, Susana Kearsley, about her favourite parts of the writing process.
Every stage of the writing process has its own rewards, and I confess I love them all.
In the beginning, everything is fresh and new. I’m meeting the characters in the same way I’d meet new friends—getting to know them in gradual stages, and learning their quirks and opinions. Often the setting is new to me, too, so that means I’m exploring new landscapes—both virtually, through research, and physically, through on-site travel. And that’s always wonderful. Walking the paths that my characters walk in the story never fails to make them move in my imagination, and it’s a vital part of my writing process. Entire scenes will shape themselves and spill out onto the page, sometimes faster than I can keep up with the dialogue.
By the time I reach the middle, things have slowed a bit, and the process is different, but it’s still fun. I don’t sit down and outline the novels before I write them. I wish I could, but it never really works for me. I know the order of the historical elements that the characters could use if they wanted to, but I’ve found it’s best to let my subconscious mind take control of the writing, so essentially I just put my characters on the page and let them go, and see what they do. This makes the middle of the novel a constantly shifting adventure, and even though in the middle of each and every book I’m sure the entire thing is going to come off the rails and be a total disaster, so far my characters seem to be able to pull it all together, in the end.
The ending, for me, is almost all-consuming, because by this time I’m so immersed in the story and the characters that I’d happily stay in my writing room all day and night if I could, only coming up for food and coffee. But of course, with a family to feed and look after, that’s simply not possible. Still, it’s a wonderful part of the process, and few things are as satisfying as the feeling of writing “The End” on the very last line of a manuscript.
Then comes this part, where it’s published and sent out into the world to be shared with my readers, which in its own way is another beginning. And that’s kind of wonderful, too.