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I can't read Sarah's article right now, so I'll have to get back with you on that. However, I do remember reading in an article about Nora Roberts writing habits. She goes to her office and works something like a 9-5 day, and as part of her morning routine, plays a computer game for about one hour. She's pretty prolific, so I'm guessing it's a good way to start the day.

I think if worked remotely at all like any of those writers, I'd be locked up. I'm with you: just write the first sentence and go from there. No charts, no hands in the air, no dictating into little machines. Yikes.

Here's my routine. I go to Office Depot and buy out ALL the index cards in the place, and they have to be in colors. Then I get colored markers. I get the Bic Liquid Silver Can't You Believe it's Not Butter roller pen, and stick it in a drawer. Then I take a bath in buttermilk. Here's the tricky part--you must *not* dry off. Still slippery, I sit cross-legged on a bathroom mat and say over and over, "I am THE bestseller of the WORLD."

Then, I open my computer file marked "Great American Novel" and look at the opening line, which currently contains the word "The."

Tired from all this exertion, I climb into bed and watch the shopping channel.

Another day of writing, another Mission Accomplished!

Those literary bastards don't have to worry about a fucking plot, so their method ain't one I'd adapt. Might show my ignorance but the only person's names I recognized on that list were Margaret Atwood and Laura Lippman's.

I am bowled over by her chart, colored strings, and index card method.

It depends a lot on if you're writing under contract and *have* to show your editor you know the story and can craft a beginning, a middle, and an end -- and lots of time approval on the outline/synopsis means money.

I'm an outliner. I usually have a notebook with me, and I jot down things that occur to me as far as changes, additions, character traits, setting, plot points. Sometimes books require figuring out a character arc ahead of time, but usually for me, all that nitty gritty stuff comes AFTER I've finished the book (rough draft stage)and can figure out what it needs, what needs to be cut, etc. I do go through 5+ full drafts after I'm finished with the rough draft.

Man oh man, that is a crappy song.

Impressive blog! -Arron

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