Yesterday I identified four different types of writing for novel creation.

1. Fleeting Writing

This is when you answer questions and world-build. You’re discovering new information by writing. I previously called this digging, like digging into a question or subject. I like fleeting better since it describes the nature of the notes that appear. They are surface level thoughts that in order to be grounded they need more work (a second rewrite).

2. Permanent Writing

Once we have fleeting thoughts in front of us, we take those and direct them towards our story in progress. How can this thought serve our story? Maybe it is a gesture or an incident in a scene. Maybe it’s a potential scene. Maybe it can serve as an argument that you’re making in your book. Then we want to rewrite it to serve that.

3. Manuscript Writing

This is writing for my coach. It’s putting all the moving parts of my novel into a cohesive manuscript for her to read. Even if you don’t have a coach, this writing deepens novels. Say you’re writing a novel on what if Native Americans were allowed to evolve and flourish alongside the new American settlers. To write that I need to know a lot about the Native American culture, and what better way to learn than teaching someone else through an essay.

4. Scene Writing

All that prewriting serves as building blocks to actual scene writing. Over the last year, I’ve learned scene writing flows when you put the work prewriting in. All that prewriting comes out subtlety in complex layers.

These could be broken up further into subcategories. A big one would be scene writing first drafts versus editing drafts. But I like these four categories because it gives me a visual of how my daily work progresses. Now as I work, I can better see where are these words going and how they serve my novel.