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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Creating a Text – Lynn Viehl

What phases are involved in the creation of a text?

Creation for me usually begins with an idea born during a moment of inspiration. That would be my first phase. I never know when inspiration is going to hit, but it happens most often when I’m listening to music, sewing, meditating, or working in the garden. One minute I’m weeding, the next I’ve got an intergalactic would-be assassin in my head, or an analogy that relates writing to cooking, or a fragment of poetry about swans falling. That one idea is always the hub around which I build the novel, text or verse.

During my second, pre-construction phase, the idea becomes the center while possibilities spread out and whirl around it. At first it’s a bit like standing in the eye of a hurricane, but I begin jotting things down as they flash through my imagination. Some things stick to my original idea, others fall away, but the center usually holds. If it doesn’t, I file away the idea for future development.

My third phase of creation is to make plans based on the idea and the possibilities, in the form of an outline, synopsis, or rhyme scheme. I’m not going to build until the plans are solid, so I take my time with this phase. I prefer to be organized and well-prepared before I begin phase four, or the actual writing.

Lynn Viehl has written more than thirty novels in five different genres. She blogs at Paperback Writer.

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