How does your novel grow?

Some people write like they mow lawns. They start at one side, and when they get to the other end, they’re done. They wait a few weeks, then comb through it again.

I’m more like a gardener when I write. Planting seeds, weeding, transplanting, watering, planting more seeds, pruning, harvesting.

I’m not a very good gardener. I have a board on Pinterest called “Gardening for the Bewildered” which makes me feel like I’m actually making an effort without actually making any effort.

We can read all the books about gardening we want, we can watch other people mow their own lawns, but we’ll never get anything finished if we don’t start.

I’m all about planning out my writing, but sometimes I get to the planning stage, I plan for a while, and then I stop. But planning isn’t actually writing.

I read a great blog this week by Laini Taylor in which she talks about exploratory drafts. Not first drafts, exploratory drafts. It’s a great read.

I also read and participated in #VeryRealisticYA on Twitter.

Like planning, inspiration is a part of the creative process (I once blogged about the 10-Step Creative Process for Writing a Novel). But again, it isn’t writing.

I devoured Understanding Comics the other day and I cannot wait to share some of the things I learned about the journey of artists. Except I can wait, because that deserves its own post!

Today I took out a scene on which I’ve been stumped for a while. Reading my notes from Understanding Comics helped, since I’m writing a graphic novel, but I still never would have finished the scene if I hadn’t thought about all of the possibilities and explored some of them through writing. It was exploratory drafting, and I got through it.

Are you writing or exploring? Are you filling up your creative tank? Are you blocked?

If the latter, listen to Tadashi:

The character and appearance of Tadashi belong to Disney Animation

Now go get writing!

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