How they write, take 1 -- JoAnn Ross


Written on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 by haleigh

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Up first this week on our "How they write" series, is JoAnn Ross, who writes romance and romantic suspense. See her whole interview on her website, which includes great info on publishing.

Her writing process:

Since I love writing, while it’s not always easy, it never feels like work. (It’s hard to complain about a job I get to do in my jammies.) I’ve written nearly every day since 1982, approximately eight hours during the week, usually less on weekends. I used to set goals of twenty pages a day for category, ten pages a day for single title. These days, because I tend to keep rewriting as I go along, it can get too demoralizing to set specific goals, so I just keep an eye on the calendar. Also, because I spend all that early time revising, by the last third of a book I pretty much have events set up and have a better idea of where I’m going, so the writing goes much faster.

I did character studies for a couple early books because I read in Writers Digest I was supposed to. They may work for other people, but they didn’t do a thing for me except waste time. I tend to think about my characters for a long time, sometimes years, so by the time I write their stories, I know them well enough to trust them to carry my story for me. Because I’ve often thought it would be nice to have a roadmap, I’ve tried, but simply cannot do outlines, although I usually have an idea of a pivotal scene somewhere toward the middle of a book, and a vague plan for the ending, which can, and usually does change.

I don’t necessarily recommend this method; as with everything else about writing, process is a very unique thing and we all have to find what works for us. My process has changed a lot since I began writing, and can often change during the course of writing a book.

Yesterday revealed a wide range of writing processes. Anybody write like this?

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  1. Jessica |

    Hmmm....Kind of, I guess. Dang. I wish I could write for eight hours a day. I feel exhausted after one hour of writing.
    Yeah, I don't know how much these character worksheets are doing for me. I kind of abandoned them when they were half-done. LOL!

  2. haleigh |

    I know, right? I saw "eight hours" and had the same reaction.

    I've abandoned character sheets too. They can be useful, but I tend to just let the characters rattle around in my brain and do their thing (wow, that makes me sound crazy :)


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