The Writer’s Iceberg

Whether you’re a reader interested in the writing process, or someone exploring NaNoWriMo for the first time, or a seasoned writer looking to speed up your process, you’ll find something to love about Becky Clark’s “Eight Weeks to a Complete Novel.” This short blog series will get you started.

Even though I’m not a Broadway star, I want to see backstage. Even though I’m not an enthusiastic cook, I want to see kitchen videos. Even though I’m not a cop, I want to see investigations.

So, I thought, even if you’re not a writer, you might want to see a bit of my process, how that particular sausage gets made. (The process is much less gross, so don’t worry.)

Of course, if you are a writer, you’re probably curious—like I am—about other writers’ processes.

Because I write several different cozy mystery series’ with humor and an amateur sleuth, my heroes skew more to the reluctant side. They’re not detectives or private eyes whose job depends on solving cases.

My main characters have adventures thrust upon them. They definitely do not seek them out!

That’s why before I sit down to write anything I know a lot about them. That way I can explore how they’d react to a dead body or murder accusation. Then I develop and deepen the characters and the story as I write. I get to know them better little by little, just like in real life.

You don’t just walk into a meeting or cocktail party full of strangers and immediately launch into a long, involved story about your fraught relationship with your siblings, or that personality-defining time your parents forgot you at the Piggly Wiggly, or that you’re a card-carrying member of both Mensa and Blockbuster.

Well, you might, but—ugh—you probably won’t be invited back.

It’s the same with writing a book. Information is teased out logically, when it becomes important for the reader to know.

Authors feel in their very soul the truth of the Writing Iceberg. Just the tip sticks up out of the water—that’s the part the reader knows. But the enormous bulk of the berg is hidden unseen. That’s the part the writer knows.

In my upcoming Sugar Mill Marketplace series of fifteen books, there are characters and facts galore. I’m able to drop hints and clues in book two that will pay off in book twelve. Just like in real life you might say about a friend going through some drama, “Oh, she’s been losing weight for months but refuses to talk about it. Now I understand why!”

Would you like to see how I develop that iceberg?

Next article … The Beauty of Calendars

The Writer’s Iceberg
The Beauty of Calendars
• I Hate Revision with the White-Hot Intensity of Ten Thousand Suns

The Writer’s Mobius Strip
Perfect Your System
Find the Fun

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