New York Times Bestselling author, Jennifer Crusie is with us this week to celebrate the release of her latest solo novel, "Maybe This Time".
Jenny, what kind of writer are you? I don’t want to ask you where you get your ideas, because I know .. they’re everywhere! But, do you plot? Pants? Play the “what if” game? Do you interview your characters and make a character outline? I’ve seen pictures of your collages (they’re amazing ... wonder what they’d go for on eBay? *G*), so I know you’re visual.
I write the first draft off the top of my head, not in chronological order, just what ever floats into my frontal lobe. Then I revise and plot and analyze and organize and rewrite again.
I don't interview my characters or make outlines, but I do put the scenes up on a big white board and see where the patterns are, and I pay attention to how long the scenes and acts are, trying to keep everything well paced.
And yep, I work on the collages and play the sounddtracks the entire time I'm writing and revising.
Can you take us on a trip with you from idea to submission?
Well, take Maybe This Time. I got the idea long before I became a writer, back when I was working on my first master's degree in '87. I read The Turn of the Screw, and thought, "Somebody should rescue that governess," and it stayed in the back of my head, kind of nagging at me until about two years ago, when I told my editor I wanted to write my version of The Turn of the Screw. And she said, "Huh. Okay," and I began to work on key scenes and research ghosts and did a computer collage and kept noodling with it while we finished Wild Ride, and then I sat down and wrote the first draft and did the first scissors and glue collage and researched the soundtrack and reread The Turn of the Screw about six times.
Several months in, I realized I needed to set the book in a different time period, so I moved it to 1992 (which really screwed up the soundtrack) and then rewrote it again. And then I gave it to beta readers and took their feedback and rewrote it, and then I sent it to my editor and took her feedback and rewrote it, and then . . .
It gets really boring to explain once you get into rewrite territory because it's pretty much lather, rinse, repeat.
And worth all the work!