How do I write?
I marvel at the authors who meticulously plan and plot out their stories and then put pen to paper to implement their plan. It seems like such a logical way of writing and I appreciate how rewarding it must be to watch it all come together. That said, despite the obvious merits of that approach … I cant bring myself to write that way. Instead, I tend to write completely without a plan, making it up entirely as I go. I know I’m not the only one who writes this way and I don’t know if we are in the minority, but I would like to share why writing by the seat of my pants works for me.
To me, it’s all about the freedom of writing without the constraints imposed by working to a plan. Each time I write, I get to focus on what seems to be the most pressing element of my story. Sometimes it’s a scene or a character, and other times it’s some dialogue. I don’t need to write in any logical sequence or chronological order … I just need to write.
Of course, without a plan I’m liable to be very influenced by what happens in my life. All those little inconsequential things that go on around me when I’m not writing have a way of affecting the way I write and the story at large. How I feel, miscellaneous stresses, real life conversations, people I meet, the weather; it all finds it’s way into my writing, sometimes in the plot, sometimes in the subtleties of character of development. So what I think is the story at inception is never the same as the finished product.
Sooner or later, a draft is completed and then comes the fun of giving it a fresh read. I know it’s going to be all over the place, but it’s a start and from that read I’ll be able to see what it needs and what it doesn’t. I accept that there will be a lot of cutting and many hours of effort will disappear with liberal use of the ‘delete’ key, or perhaps filed away for later use. The point is that if it doesn’t belong in this story, it can’t stay in this story so it needs to go. Re-write after re-read follows until the nature and volume of necessary changes gradually reduces to zero.
Then it’s ripe for a few trusted first readers to give their thoughts. My take is that all feedback my first readers give is golden and 100% correct. If they like it, great. If they don’t ‘get’ something or didn’t like a character or anything, it becomes a beacon to something which needs to be fixed. I don’t argue, I just treat it as golden guidance. Then the re-read and re-write cycle continues.
So there you have it; writing by the seat of my pants. I don’t get the pleasure of being able to track my progress by percentages or according to my outline, but I do get to see something gradually evolve and I never get writers’ block.
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Amazon Book Links:
The Traveller – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AW4EP8W/
Minions – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AW4EP8W/