About author, Jaimie Admans: Jaimie is a 28-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, drinking tea and watching horror movies. She hates spiders and cheese & onion crisps.
She has been writing for years, but has never before plucked up the courage to tell people.
She is the author of chick-lit romantic comedy Kismetology and YA romantic comedies Afterlife Academy and Not Pretty Enough, and the soon-to-be-released North Pole Reform School.
The Process Of Writing Not Pretty Enough
I learned a valuable lesson while writing Not Pretty Enough. My usual process of writing is in chronological and linear order – I start at the beginning and work my way forwards, through until the end. If I’m truly stuck on a certain part then I will either cut it completely or write it quite badly with the intention of editing it later. I don’t skip bits because I don’t feel like writing them, I write the next scene no matter what I feel like.
I decided to do something different with Not Pretty Enough. I had a beginning and an end to the story – I do know that I can’t start writing a book without at least that much – but the middle was a different matter. All I had for the middle was a long list of potential scenes I’d thought of, and after writing the beginning, I decided to try a different approach to writing this book. Rather than writing from beginning to end, I decided to have a look at the list of potential scenes each morning and choose whichever one I felt like working on that day. I usually wrote them in separate Word documents, and it was definitely a change from my usual one-long-document way of writing a book. I quite enjoyed it at first, it was fun, and interesting to start work each morning without a pre-determined starting point, up until then I had always started work knowing I’d be continuing with the part I ended on the night before.
But, trouble began when I decided I felt like writing the ending. I had a very clear picture of how I wanted the book to end, I kept imagining it in my mind, and I was desperate to write it, so one day quite early on in the writing process, I wrote the final scene.
And then I struggled.
Because in my head, the end had already happened. The characters had already ended the journey they were on, Chessie already knew what she discovers at the end, so I then found it hard to write the middle because I knew what was coming. Obviously as the author you probably know what’s going to happen anyway, but there was a big difference for me between knowing how it was going to end and having already written the ending. The character’s journey had ended before it had even been written, and I found it hard to go backwards. Chessie grows a lot over the course of the book, and it was hard to carry on writing her as she used to be when I had already written her as a much more mature character.
It also led to a lot of confusion for me in terms of timeline. The book is set over the course of Chessie’s school year, so what had happened when and did that incident come before or after this incident? It actually took me days of work to get it into some sort of logical order, and I had to re-write certain parts to fit in with the timescale and change the timing or month that certain things were supposed to take place.
So I learned a valuable lesson when writing Not Pretty Enough. While everyone’s writing process is different, for me the only way is to start at the beginning and finish at the end!
Shani Struthers says
Really interesting post Jaimie – I’ve never written out of sequence before and, after your experience, I don’t think I’ll try! At least you got there in the end! Big bags of luck with this book tho – am sure it will be a great hit! xxx