DM:I usually start with an idea for a story, or a general concept. Maybe I’ll create a scene or two and then I’ll start putting together an outline, a basic flow. I may type or write out a scene or two, or a chapter or two, or just notes on characters, scenes and such that I’ll put into a “work” folder.
The idea continues to evolve over time becoming a story, initially all middle flow maybe an ending and maybe a general beginning. At this point, I will sit at the computer and start to pound out a manuscript, albeit a very rough first draft.
After this pass, creating a bunch of sheets of paper, with words on them, I’ll print and go “sit in a corner” to mark up those pages. Usually I write up and down the margins, the top and bottom, the back and often times I add handwritten pages to the script, flushing out characters, scenes, dialogue and conflict. I typically do two passes one in red ink and the second in green - to highlight my second pass changes. (I created my first manuscript on a manual typewriter and spent more time “writing” than typing and I still continue that concept today.)
Once I am satisfied with that phase, I’ll sit back at the computer and create a manuscript from all those notes, still creating as I go. When that pass is completed, once again I’ll print out those pages, find another corner and start over with my red and green ink pen.
I will repeat that process several times, or until I feel I have the story down - there is no more to tell. I will make one more pass (or two) to check the pieces, the flow, cross check my characters, their introduction, do they belong and do they work. Do the scenes work? Usually that will require another retype, which I will then create one more “clean” copy that I send off to my editor and I am done until I get those “blood” red pages back!
About Don: Don spent two years with a literary agency (largely, as the purveyor of the slush pile). He also worked as a summer intern at a major chain bookstore, to better understand book selling in the retail world. In addition, Don had been asked to speak at several events, including writers conferences and writers groups. He also had been asked to be a guest speaker at writing groups, including moderating a writer's roundtable. He continues to speak and do presentations. At present he has published four books with five different POD publishers.
Books by Don Meyer:
The Protected Will Never Know- A Vietnam Memoir
Visit Don Meyer here: http://www.dpmeyer.com/
If any of our regular readers would like to share their process, we would love to hear from you. You can email it to: podpeep at gmail dot com with the subject line: Thoughts on The Process. I will give it a quick proofread and post it to the blog. Please include a short bio and a link to your website or blog if you have one. If you have already been reviewed by us, please include the title of your book, as well. Thank you Don for sharing.