Writing--What's Your Favorite Part?

Photo credit: _StaR_DusT_ on Flickr
We all know writing isn't an easy thing—finding the time, getting ideas, discovering voice, editing and rewriting and editing and rewriting again—it’s a lot of work, and quite frankly, sometimes it’s frustrating.

But what about the moments that make it all worth it? I don’t think we talk enough about them.  

So, let’s talk: what’s your favorite part of writing?

For me, there are two parts that I can’t get enough of:

  1. The discovery—the moment when a character comes alive—really comes to life for the first time on the page—when they do something unexpected or say something that makes you grin every time you read over it, that moment when you can say, “Wow, I really found you.” Discovery can be in the characters, in a world you’ve created that finally clicks, in that plot point that you’ve needed for days that suddenly hits you…the discovery is easily one of my favorite parts of writing.

  2. Wow…I wrote this?—This part I suppose is more of my favorite part of rewriting, since it tends to come up much more often after a bajillion drafts, but when you read over something for the umpteenth time and it hits you that it’s right, that it sounds finished, that you wrote it…that’s something really special.

Let’s take a moment to focus on the parts that make everything worth it. Tell me guys, what’s your favorite part of writing? 

25 comments:

Rik Davnall said...

For me it's the little moments, the ones where the perfect line of dialogue or description or quip pops into my head just when I need it.

Well, that and wearing the characters out so much that they're too tired to keep me awake all night begging for more attention... ;)

Angelina C. Hansen said...

The element of surprise. That moment when something totally unplanned and unexpected appears in the story. 

Ava Jae said...

The little moments certainly make a difference. Many of the best "aha!" moments are little details, but they feel just as great anyway. ^_^

Ava Jae said...

Yes! Love when your writing surprises you--that's when you know you're really on a roll. 

Susan Sipal said...

I read once where an author said (can't remember who) that most authors like "having written" more than writing.  I think it's what you're talking about in #2, that going back to something completed, something that shines, and thinking, wow, I wrote that?! It's a great feeling.

Ava Jae said...

I've seen that quote, too. I didn't really think of it in that context, but you're right--going back to something completed (thus having written) and being able to smile at what you wrote...fantastic. :)

Krista said...

World building and outlining is one of my favorite parts. I love brainstorming ideas and fitting them altogether. I love it when things fall into place and fot together like a puzzle.

My second favorite part is the first draft. Letting tje worlds flow and watching the story unfold. Love it!

Mbetters said...

One of my favorite parts of writing is realizing the truth behind what I'm writing... I often don't know WHY I'm writing something until AFTER I wrote it; that moment of revelation is often either frustrating or energizing, which is why I love it.

Ava Jae said...

I think by "truth behind what I'm writing" you mean theme? If so, I think that's true for a lot of writers--we often don't know going into a novel what the message will be behind it until afterwards, and when you figure it out, it feels pretty great.

Jennifer Bennett said...

I'm a big fan of the discovery as well! I also love it when someone else see your hard work and appreciates it. I don't care if the entire page is red, tell me you like that one line and I will be a happy girl :)

Ava Jae said...

That's especially great with beta readers or critiquers who are less than easily impressed. Give me a page full of red and one line that worked well and I'm perfectly happy. ^_^

Susankayequinn said...

For me, like #1, it's that first draft. The heady rush of story creation. Right now I'm hyper-plotting like mad, and that's pretty cool too - when you discover just the right plot turn. But there's nothing like breathing characters to life on the page. :)

Ava Jae said...

Agreed! Plotting is always fun, but having the characters actually come to life on the page is something else entirely. 

shilpa mudiganti said...

Its definitely first draft. The freedom, the uninterrupted and eager flow of ideas...it literally pours out of me! I love that...its almost like falling in love! :D

Ava Jae said...

I think Amanda Hocking said writing was like falling in love (I might have a post about that...buried...somewhere). Regardless, the first draft often has that feel--and what's great is you can do it over and over again with future books. 

Rob @notactuallyahero said...

My favorite part of writing is being done. Not that I don't like the process, but because it's done now. I created a thing. There is now something that exists that would not exist otherwise.

It's a shocking moment, but in a good way. Every single time.

Ava Jae said...

You know, I didn't think of that one but I totally agree. Being able to look back at the drafts you have and know that they existed because you wrote them into existence is an amazing feeling...and it never gets old. :)

Ralfast said...

Just putting pen to paper (although my handwriting is atrocious) is satisfying enough.

Ava Jae said...

I've actually found that especially when it comes to rewriting, handwriting really helps me get the flow going. 

Jon Arntson said...

"Wow…I wrote this?" You and your one-liners! Seriously, I need to hang out with you.

Ava Jae said...

:D

Missus Bloggs said...

I agree that "Wow, I wrote this?!" is a major high, but I love the "writing" as much as the "having written". Gotta say my favourite bit has to be the part before all the writing and outlining begins - where you hit upon a great idea or a great conclusion to a nagging idea and you just know you have to write this and share it with the world. You're on the precipice, about to fall into this entirely new and wonderful and non-existent world that you will create; something that will be an intrinsic part of your life for years to come... Just thinking about it puts a smile on my face.

Ava Jae said...

Coming up with the big novel idea is always exciting--particularly when the excitement flows over to the writing and everything starts to come together. It's a great moment, to be sure. :)

Steven Belanger said...

My favorite parts are, yes, the "Wow--this is awesome!" feeling when I've written something that's good, or when an idea or a character achieves awesomeness.  Sometimes I giggle out loud when I've written a  good line of dialogue.  But I also like the contented feeling of just doing something I like, that I'm good at.  I feel I have purpose, even if it's just scut work, line editing, whatever.  I recently had to scour the internet for pictures of people in the 1890s, and I found two who looked exactly as I'd imagined my characters would look.  That was very cool.

Ava Jae said...

I am definitely guilty of giggling at a good line of dialogue I wrote. I reassure myself that I'm not really laughing at my own joke--I'm laughing at my character's wittiness. Totally normal. 

I like what you said about just enjoying the feeling of doing something you like, that you're good at. I didn't think of that when I wrote the post, but you're totally right--that's such a great feeling. Just being able to do something you enjoy is something we should never take for granted. 

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