Monday, July 26, 2010

My Brainstorming Stages a la Kristen Stewart's Face

So. Kristen Stewart. *gives standing ovation for badassness*

Since I already broke down my writing stages using Robert Pattinson's hair, I thought it would be appropriate to borrow Kristen's face for a similar analogy. You see, that girl's mug always reminds me of what I look like when I brainstorm for a first draft.

Cue obscure indie music:

1) The Spark- This is when an idea bursts into my brain. It could've been a song, another book, a quote by a random stranger--something inspired me to not have a social life for the next three months. And once The Spark arrives, I get all giddy and shameless, like this:

2) The Who, What and Where- The main character speaks to me. The problem he/she needs to solve begins to take shape. The world he/she lives in seems to build itself. Everything falls into place without a hitch. I do not hate The Spark for one minute. I feel like the Queen Of The Badass Universe, and walk around looking at people like this:

3) The Plotting- I have the premise figured out, so I sit down and write like crazy. Since I don't outline my stories before I write them, I usually make more wrong turns than I care to admit. I might've blown past Plot Point A, but get stuck on Plot Point F. The story starts to look like the lamest thing ever pondered by a life form. Nothing makes sense. The world is stupid, and you hate everybody. This is when I start doing this:

4) The Boost- I stop writing Lamest Story Ever and focus on getting fat. Ice cream, chocolate--nothing is off limits. The world is sort of okay again. I pick up a book by Bestselling Better Author Than Me, and I drink in every single word, studying their craft. Then it hits me: Bestselling Better Author Than Me is successful for many reasons, but the one that matters most is that he/she never gave up. Only pansies do that. And in publishing, there's no room for pansies. So I plop down in front of my laptop, open that manuscript again and come up with stronger, better ways to tell my story. Maybe I write a brief outline. Maybe I just think and write scenes as they pop into my head. What matters is that I stare at self-doubt in the face like this:

5) The Sigh- 300+ pages later, I have a completed manuscript. This involved tons of glaring at self-doubt, as well as flipping off those plot holes I couldn't seem to get right. And of course, other drafts will bring more headaches and plot issues, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there. The one thing that runs through my tired mind is this: all that hard work finally paid off. *sighs* All that brainstorming got me through a first draft, no matter how rough it is. *sighs again* I could grin like an idiot all day long, but I have a reputation to keep. I flash the widest smile my badass nature will allow:

There you go, friends--Kristen Stewart's face mirrors mine when I'm drafting.

Lucky me.

How about you? Any examples as to how you survive the brainstorming process? Is it just as tough as it is for me, or do you cruise right by the finish line?


  1. The awesome just oozes out of you, doesn't it? Lol, seriously how do you think of this stuff? Brilliant. *applauds*

  2. LOL--I got through similar stages! Love the pic where she's flipping the bird--totally badass. ;)-

  3. Lol. Yup, this sounds about right for me too.
    How do I survive brainstorming? A notebook glued in my hand for inspirational moments, chocolate, and the delete button. heehee.

  4. Fan-freakin-tastic. This is so genius! I don't know who I look like when I'm writing, someone who looks like they have no idea what they're doing probably. Oh wait, that's me!

  5. HEE HEE! I'm still laughing about the Robert Pattinson post, and then you come up with THIS! Yes, I laugh like Ernie from Sesame Street. ;-)

    Love the comparison. "the widest smile my badass nature will allow". ROFL.

    I survive the meandering plotting process by keeping a separate document I call "excerpts" a la Stephenie Meyer. She posted a few of hers on her web site and it got me thinking: I don't have to delete pages and pages of crap. I can exile the bad or unnecessary segments into a folder and never throw anything away!! This has changed my writing life because I used to be afraid of losing all that work.

  6. awesome. That's pretty much how I am, but most of the time I want to give the world the finger.

  7. I'm a pantser so yeah, it just as tough. Then again I wouldn't have it any other way. (Hugs)Indigo

  8. Oh man, you come up with some of the most interesting posts. Thanks for sharing this! LOL

  9. LOL!! I so go straight to number 3 with poor Kristen!! Yep that's me!!! Oh yes!! LOL!!

    Oh but she scrubs up nicely so maybe there's hope for me! (not!!)

    But well done you for reaching The Sigh!! That's a great feeling! Take care

  10. That's was a funny and entertaining post, Amparo.

    It is a tough process to write, plot, and whatnot; I don't think anyone cruises to the finish line easily. (No, not even the talented ones.)

    It takes time, work, and effort to get passed all those plot-holes and tons of pages. I usually get stuck in them myself, but I know that I just have to keep on pushing and I'll make it out in the end.

    So, write on and never give up!

  11. Ha! That was great! And yes, I suppose my face goes thru those range of emotions too. LOL

  12. LOL! I love her faces. I'm afraid I do the same thing. Writing is so much harder than I thought. =)

  13. Awesomeness!! I never imagined i would become multi polar dysfunctional while writing a novel. I guess everything will be normal once my manuscript is ready :)

  14. Add like 18 more faces and you've got all of my moods. :D

  15. OMG! This just made my day and I didn't even like Kristin before I read this post. You are awesome!!! I'm so excited to be a new follower :)

  16. This was so funny! I had to go back and comment because I was laughing so hard!