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Thursday, November 08, 2012

Writing Wibbles

Just a little writing to wibble about this week. I’ve been cheering on everyone participating in NaNoWriMo, though.

I’ve learned something about my internal writing process this week. I’ve been a “pantser” (i.e. writing my the seat of my pants), as opposed to a plotter, for a long time. So I would think of a pivotal scene, write it, then fill in the spaces in between the pivots. I always thought of it as “organic story development” rather than “pantsing” though.

So for reasons as different as the stories themselves, I thought I’d try plotting several of my upcoming story ideas. Even though I gave myself permission to change the outline as I went, I found myself getting bogged down early on. It was the gigantic word-bomb that Mik and Sura dropped on me that helped me figure out why. They forced me to write the beginning and the end of Accidental Sorcerers 2, and left that long dry in-between for me to finish on my own. When I have an outline—which for me means chapters and scene titles laid out in Scrivener—I feel like I have to start writing with the first empty scene. I need to add a little organic fertilizer to this non-organic story development, and make myself write the scenes where I know what’s happing now. That will help me fill in those ever-smaller in-between spots.

First attempt was a success. It took 20 minutes to write the first 30 words. Then I got 100 more down in the next 10 minutes. An hour later, I was up to 1,200 words. Always something new to learn!

A little Green Envy Press news: Angela Kulig has released her Skeleton Lake preview novella, The Skeleton Song, free on Amazon. I edited it, so you can blame me for any remaining typos. ;-)

Meanwhile, I’m hoping to have two Termag novellas out over the winter. Pickups and Pestilence should be out come spring, and that’s just the beginning…

5 comments:

  1. I can't plot. Every time I consider trying it, my mind goes completely blank. I think, it just feels too daunting to me. If I do it, then it has to be done that way so my muse goes on strike. The only plotting I can get away with is in my head. I can figure out scenes ahead of time, make notes (sometimes) and write later.

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  2. Interesting post Larry. I don't necessarily plot out flashes, although I do like to have an ending in mind. However something like a novella or novel I plot. My serials are really plotted except that I know the end. the one I'm wrting now Mind Noise I write each week and I have an idea what I want to say but I'm never quite sure where my fingers on the keys will take it. ^_^

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  3. Opps that should read my serials aren't not are ^_^

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  4. Interesting.I tend to plot out in an almost schizophrenic way.I may start with the beginning of a scene or a bit of dialogue, a piece of environment I like...the list goes on but you get the idea.

    Also until recently my notes would be scattered bout, on homework, in a random notebook on a random page, on the back of used napkins, my hands, arms.God, now that I think about it I am quiet demented when it comes to my writing!Its the fever pitch I get into i suppose.

    We all have different styles of writing though, whatever works best I say,but I love experimenting keeps me from being stale.Just don't make it too much of a chore Larry.

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  5. Hi all!

    Patricia, for me, a story often starts out as a loose arc with a few pivotal scenes along the way. Putting them in some kind of order can be helpful, but I have to remind myself that this isn't a linear process. I need to give myself permission to hop around.

    Helen, that's how I largely wrote FAR Future. I was a little more organized when I wrote White Pickups, but in both cases I started out with no idea how they would end.

    EJ, good advice. If you can, get a pocket-size notebook & get in the habit of carrying it around. You can whip it out almost anywhere and jot down a note without disrupting whatever else you're doing at the moment. That should help you keep all your notes together.

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