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3. the writing process


An important part of a writer’s education is learning how to manage the writing process. How a writer proceeds through a particular writing project depends on many factors, both internal and external. Experienced writers who know their own creative processes well will use one of a variety of approaches depending on the circumstances of a particular writing situation.

  • the writer’s process – every writer evolves a writing process that suits their own work, often using specific processes for specific projects.
  • writing isn’t a linear process – the writing process involves several broad types of activities that aren’t always done in a linear fashion, but that all take place at some point in the process.
  • creating your own map of the process –writers grow and gain technique and artistry through a process of experience and reflection.

The writing process involves:

  • Getting started:
    • The genesis of the music: what are the professional or personal factors that motivate the writing of that particular project?
    • “Finding” or generating the initial musical seed ideas, which often come with the necessary creative energy
    • Making the initial decisions that determine the general shape and characteristics of the piece (the size and makeup of the ensemble, length and scope of the piece, its creative focus and areas of exploration, and other big choices)
  • Working:
    • Sketching: working at the detail level
    • The schematic: shaping the form
    • Cycling between the sketch and the schematic
    • Refining and developing ideas
  • Finishing:
    • Finalizing choices and fixing ideas
    • Adding details
    • Ending/stopping
    • Revising(?)
    • Archiving your work

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