Writers just wanna have fu-un

A few weeks ago, my friend Jacqui asked about my favorite part of the writing process, a question that’s been floating around in the back of my mind ever since. This weekend, as I reviewed illustrations for one book (a merry-go-round ride) and worked on writing the middle of another book (a slow jog through deep mud), I finally came up with a ranking.

The Book-Creation Process, from Most Fun to Least Fun:
1. Receiving the printed books
2. Reviewing illustrations
3. Reviewing designs
4. Writing the first few chapters
5. Researching
6. Responding to copyediting
7. Writing the last chapter
8. Responding to substantive editing
9. Indexing
10. Writing the middle

As you can see, the things that are the most fun involve watching other people take my ideas and turn them into something new and flashy and engaging. The things that are the least fun are the ones that involve high levels of focus and actual… ahem… work. But there are no illustrated, designed, and printed books with a hunk of blank pages in the middle, so — onwards!

What do you writers out there think of my list? What are your favorite and least favorite parts?

7 thoughts on “Writers just wanna have fu-un

  1. Brandy

    Maybe you could start a new trend (and become famous for it) where you sell books with a beginning and end and the reader fills in the middle! Actually, I’d buy it. I’m famous for reading the beginning and then skipping to the end. Who needs the middle anyway?

  2. Deryn

    I love your list! it’s so succinct. Makes it seems like a manageable process…
    Receiving printed books is not on my list…YET. But I hope it will be someday soon. My favourite part is plotting. Figuring out who does what and when and what their motivations are. And writing, when it’s one of those great days – as opposed to the slow jog through mud days.

  3. Tanya Post author

    Brandy, sign me up! I’m all for books with no middles.

    And Deryn… plotting? What is that, exactly? Does that have something to do with that conflict stuff I’m supposed to be adding?

  4. Deryn

    well, when you write murder muysteries like I do, plotting is the who killed whom with what and what clues did they leave behind and what twisted thing happened to them in childhood to make them like that…you know, that kind of stuff.And yes, I plan it all out in advance with hugely long and detailed outlines. But then somedays when I’m in a bad mood I might break from the outline and just kill someone off. I guess that’s conflict?

  5. Tanya Post author

    “Break from the outline and just kill someone off.” Now that’s some interesting writing advice!

  6. Tanya Post author

    That will just make it more valuable once you win the Booker Prize and he sells his copy on E-Bay.


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