Feeling My Way Through A Story

When people ask, “What is your writing process?” I am often embarrassed to tell them because it sounds so mystical.  I don’t outline ahead of time, or use Scribner’s to organize notes, or know the last sentence before I begin.  Instead, a character and situation will occur to me together (What if people didn’t need to sleep because a child was genetically engineered like that?) and I write the first scene very quickly.  Next, I stop to think, research the science, visualize the situation in greater detail, and figure out what might go wrong.  Then, for the rest of the story (this is the mystical part) I try to become that character, fuse with her or him, almost like Method acting.  I stop being Nancy and become The Character in thought and feeling to figure out what he or she might do next, and why.

This is not an efficient way to write.  Sometimes it doesn’t work at all.  I’m not recommending it.  But it seems to be my “process.”

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