The Right Writing Process
If you put a dozen authors in a room and ask about their writing process, you’ll get a dozen different answers. And guess what–they’re all right!
Some are methodical plotters. Yuck! Not me. I used to wrap myself in knots when a teacher gave an assignment to outline text.
Others are pure pantsers, i.e., they write by the seat of their pants.
And then there’s everything in between. I like to call myself a…
I’ve written myself into 140K miniseries and know that I can’t start out without a destination in mind–something besides “they lived happily ever after”.
So first I look at one of my protagonists, either the hero or heroine, and try to make a love match with someone who will provide the most conflict. Nora Roberts said it best: if your hero is a fireman, make the heroine an arsonist.
Then I work on the tentpoles of the story.
Since humans began telling stories around the campfire, every good drama has had tent poles that hold up the story, points where the action turns. There’s an Inciting Incident that launches the hero or heroine toward a goal. There are other points where the action turns, the stakes rise. There’s a Black Moment and a Climax. I actually like Larry Brooks‘s explanation of story structure, though I can’t go all out with planning the way he recommends in his book.
I try to flesh out those special moments ahead of time, and then I set pen to paper–er, fingers to keyboard. For me, the muse starts talking when my fingers start typing, and those tent poles change. Sometimes they change again in revisions.
Second, Third, Fourth Passes
And it’s okay. As most pantsers will tell you, if you know the story when you start writing, why bother writing it? You’d bore yourself and then the reader! That’s no slam on plotters–they probably enjoy that first draft after all the plotting the way I enjoy editing and revisions. And I do! Polishing my story a few times is my favorite part of the process.
But, when I’m at the point of throwing the manuscript against the wall (figuratively of course, since it’s in my computer), I know I’m ready to have more eyes on it.
Right now I’m finishing up edits on my next book. My cover artist is working on a really spectacular cover! Check back with me in a couple of weeks!
Today, this is only a blog challenge and not a hop. No links! Happy Friday, everyone!