Sunday, November 15, 2009



Im apart of a website called Open Book Society, were I help moderate and come up with new fun things to add to the site. I decided it would be fun to start posting what Kim is posting on her drama box.

In honor of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) author Kim Harrison (Rachel Morgan Series) has taken the time to let us into her mind, and her writing process. For the month of November Kim Harrison will be updating her website blog constantly. So that means I’m going to be updating you every Saturday with the newest steps in Kim’s writing process.

A disclaimer from Kim herself -

Everyone writes differently. I’ve been developing my writing style for
over a decade, and this is what works for me. There’s no wrong way to do
it as long as you’re making progress.

Harrison just finished writing her rewrites for book nine, now shes ready to get book ten rolling, but what does she start with first?

I want. . .
That’s what it’s all about at this point for me. What do I
want to see or accomplish in this 500 page monster. So today I’ll be
sitting down with about ten sheets of paper and a pencil. No keyboard for
about a week or so. I’m going to go over what I just finished and where I
want to be in about three books from now. I try to write down the gottas
for story movement, and even some fun things that make the story interesting.

Sounds easy enough right! Ok whats next when starting a book. Organization is key!

First order of business: Pick out the color I’m going to use for this
book. It’s a little known fact, but every book I write has a color which I
help to quickly identify it in my file cabinet and scattered on my desk.
DWW is red. GBU is pink. I’ve had to get creative as we inch up on
book ten. Book ten is a sort of teal blue. I’ve got matching
paperclips, binder clips, and sticky notes, and if you think finding color
matching office supplies is easy, then you’ve never tried to find teal blue
Second, I picked out a working name for the book.
This year, it took me five minutes. Sometimes, it will take an hour.
It never stays the same all the way to the shelf, but I have to have it in order
to print out my header sheets.
Third, I print out my header
sheets. Since I’m writing my notes out longhand, I like to have a header
with my name, the book title, and a spot for the date. I usually go
through 30 to 60 sheets when I organize and outline. Laughing? Fine,
but when someone comes whining to me that thirty years ago she wrote a book
about a chipmunk and a shaman living in a monastery fighting crime, I can prove
that great minds think alike. He who has the most data wins, and I’ve got
a lot.
I then pick the month the book takes place in, print out my
calendar and sun and moon tables, and check the average temps so I know where
Jenks sits. (You can make a calendar page for any month of any year by
opening up “new office document” if you’ve got windows and scroll through to
“other documents” and find calendar.) They don’t take into account daylight
savings, so watch it if your characters do.
I also print out a blank
character grid so I can start to keep track of how many characters I’ve got
going. If there’s too many, I know I need to start trimming plots or
combining characters. I try to keep it under 20 characters, and that
includes the bad guys.
Now I’m ready to plot and plan, writing out my
wants, my remembers, my three-sentence plots.

Sounds like a lot of work doesn’t it? See what all these authors do to bring us a great book! Check back next Saturday for more steps in Kim Harrison’s writing process.

Dont forget to check out Open Book Society HERE
p.s. we NEED! more Rachel Morgan fans :)