Organic, to put it politely. I start jotting notes and fragments and throw them all into one big file. These can be three-word scribbles from a gum wrapper or an 800-word brain dump. Then I print them all out and try to sort them by some sort of topical means. For instance I draw little triangles beside everything having to do with trucks, circles by everything having to do with gardening, a question mark beside everything related to existentialism, and so on. Then I cut and paste until all the triangles, circles, squiggles, etc., are clustered. Then I begin to write what I call “chunks”, which is a rare literary term. Then I print the chunks out, over and over, cutting them apart with scissors and moving them around on the floor as if I am engaged in a desperate game of quasi-literary solitaire. Eventually the chunks enlarge and cohere, and I start finding chapters. Once I have chapters, then I get to revise and polish, which is actually my favorite part of the process. I love to polish and polish. My editor finally demands that I turn it all in. In short, my writing process is unpretty and more like grunting than singing.
The results are mixed. People tell me this. So it goes.
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