Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies trilogy.

My Writing Methodology – Or Writing A New WAY After AN IllNESS

So, since my brain basically shorted out last year during my PTSD related mental breakdown, I’ve had to develop a new way of writing. My short term memory is still kinda busted, so I can’t write like I used to until those neural pathways heal. I was incredibly discouraged when I tried to get back on the writing horse only to discover that my brain was no longer wired to pick up the reins in the same way. I shed a lot of tears with that realization and slowly learned how to write in a new way.  Writing The Lament of the Vampire Bride was a huge learning experience for me, and I’ve now found what currently works for me.

I decided to share my new methodology since people ask me all the time how I actually write my books. As always, writing is a very personal experience and there isn’t a right or a wrong way to do it as long as you’re getting the story written. Pick and choose what works for you. Discard the rest.

1. To refresh my memory, I read over the last chapter I wrote from beginning to end.
2. I do a little revising as I go, and make note of the plot threads I need to continue.
3. I write the next scene in one sitting (if possible). 
4. If I hit a spot where I don’t remember something, I go through my chapters in yWriter until I find the answer. This is why I love yWriter. It as a preview pane, so I don’t have to open a bunch of files to find my answer.
5. If I get an idea for a future chapter, I jot down the crux of it in one of the future chapter panes. I can drag and drop it around as needed. (You can see where I’ve done this with 2 future scenes)
6. I write at least 300 words into the next chapter before I stop writing for the day. (You can see I’ve done that already for the next chapter) This is a great way to remind myself in what direction the story is headed.
7. I’ve created 25 chapters for the book, but I suspect it might be 23. We’ll see, but it’s a good visual for me to see how close I’m getting to THE END. The word count counter is also great, but seeing the chapters fill up is really encouraging.

ywriter in progress

I’m also careful to take care of my hands (arthritis in my basal thumb joints sucks!), and my brain (if I start getting too anxious, I take a break). Self care is super important. I don’t want to end up where I was last year.

I’m slower than I used to be, but this is the only way I can write at this time.

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