I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written about writing. When it comes to something that I need to do, I just do it. I typically don’t talk about it. I know that a lot of writers out there blog about writing and their process and prefer to give tips and advice but, for me, it’s not as cut and dry as some of these blogs make it out to be.
The problem that I had, initially, was finding the right way to create my story before I delved fully into what I wanted to create. I remember reading Stephen King’s valuable non-fiction book, On Writing, where I believe he says he starts writing without an outline, or even without an idea about the beginning, middle and end. I can appreciate the freedom this gives a writer and, for some, it makes the story limitless. It can take any direction that the author desires.
For me, however, that option isn’t an option at all.
It would be like driving from New York to California without a road map to help guide you. You just know the semi-general direction of where you’re going and you take whatever route comes. For me, it would be inefficient, and an overall waste of time.
So, I tend not to work that way, under any circumstance. I’m sure some writers can and do, but for me, there’s just too much freedom in it and I would rather have a stronger direction that I have already put in place for myself before I even begin the act of putting words into my word processor. The thought of having to throw out who knows how many pages because I’ve went so far in what I feel to be the “wrong” direction and having to start way back at a certain point, or even start all over again, in order to do it “right”, is agonizing. I’ve done it before and it’s not something I intend to do again.
I started to work on a novel awhile ago. I thought that I had to outline the entire thing and by the time I got to chapter fourteen, I was sick of it. I already had an idea of where I wanted the story to go and how I wanted it to end, and as I said, I had a good portion of an outline already written.
So, I just started writing.
Yet, what I found was that my outline was too thin, so I took advice from a woman named Rachel Aaron (Her Blog) and began to write a truncated chapter of what I had planned, rather than the vague, unhelpful little scene suggestions that I had written down.
When I went to write, after finishing this truncated chapter, I noticed it seemed so much easier, and so much more efficient. I’m also noticing that I seem to have a lot less ‘fat’, which the earlier section of the novel has a lot of (Oh, the joys of editing! That’ll be a topic for a different day), but it can always be fixed. It’s best to not worry about a first draft, since most, if not all, first drafts tend to be awful. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It comes with the territory.
Though, I’m glad for all these experiences that I’ve had while writing, both good and bad, as I said at the beginning, all of this isn’t cut and dry. All writers work differently,and in different ways. I listed a few that I knew, though I’m sure those aren’t the only ways of maneuvering around a story, there are probably as many different ways of writing a story as there are writers. The only thing a writer must do is find what works for them and continue to use this method where ever the story leads them down.