Monday, June 25, 2012

Finding Method

Yep, I was absent for most of last week. It's summer, and well, things are not normal here. My routine is off, and if I get a moment of quiet, I'm writing. With that being said, my posts may not be as frequent as they normally are.

I am moving along in my new MS. I did reach 16K and I know I have so much to revise, but it's funny cause this time around, I'm more focused. I'm not worried about which method I should use. Yes, many people post how they write and there are even books on method, but the funny thing is you don't know yours until you've tried them all and once you find your groove, things seem a little more clearer. It's like a part of you calms down cause you know what works for you.

When I started this journey, I really had no idea what I was doing. I thought I did, but I didn't. I just wrote that's it. After I started blogging, I learned there is more to it and what to look for. For a while, it really stressed me out. I thought I was doing things wrong and I had to do things a certain way, until recently. Yes, I learned a few things about myself, but I also learned what's right for me.

I'm not a strict outliner. I know this. I do some planning, mainly in my head. I visualize a scene of the beginning, something in the middle, and maybe the end. I briefly figure out what I think I want to happen, but it really doesn't develop until I write it, and let me tell ya, those characters take me to places I never even thought of. So, yes, I let the characters decide, then when it comes revision time, I have it my way (at least that's what I tell myself).

I also write out of order if I have too. When I get stuck and I know what happens in a later scene, I write it. It sometimes gets me through those scenes that make my brain come to a halt. Another tid bit is--I need music, well, most of the time. I know, weird, but it helps me.

So, what am I saying? That no matter what your method is make sure it works for you. Sure, try all of them if you want, but if something doesn't work don't force it. It inhibits creativity. Do what feels right for you.

Have you figured out your method?

Have a great day!


  1. Yeah, my personal method is still evolving. lol I mentally plan some, outline a little, and pants a bit too. ;D

    Don't feel bad by allowing the summer to have its way with you. Sometimes the change is just what we need. I'll be taking most of the summer off from blogging starting next week.

  2. mine? try to outline. move forward. get stuck. go back to writing like a first grader. fix it later. that about covers it.

  3. My method is based on whatever writing book or workshop I've gained from most recently. Who knows what the method will be for my next novel. :D

    My blogging schedule will be reduced next week, and I'll be away a lot from it because of vacations and conferences.

  4. It's all about what works for YOU.
    I've learned I write best when I have a detailed outline and I just plow straight through the manuscript without stopping or skipping. If I can just get the darn thing on paper, I'm all right.

  5. Ha, your method sounds exactly like mine! Especially the music. I can't write without inspiring music. :)

  6. Good point! I keep thinking I'm doing something wrong when I don't have everything figured out from the beginning, but as soon as I figure stuff out, I'm not interested in the story anymore. So I'm learning that I'm the kind of writer who needs to know the set up, but not where it's taking me. Fixing plot holes is for revisions :).

  7. My method varies, book by book. But I call upon experiences with previous manuscripts to get me through my current one, even if the process is slightly different each time.

    When I realized there were contradictions in the world-building of my current WIP, I remembered the first draft of my last manuscript -- which I could not finish until I ignored the setting and focused on the characters. I repaired the setting problems in later drafts.

    And today, when I realized I may have force-fed an element into this WIP that doesn't need to be there, I remembered the first draft of CG, when I discovered 3/4 of the way through that the young housekeeper needed to be an old woman instead. I slogged through the rest of the draft with her the wrong age, just to get done, and fixed it later.

    I don't know if I will ever have "a method." But I do learn strategies that help me with every new project.

  8. I have a pretty good feel for my technique, but like Sarah, the edges are still evolving. But you are absolutely right, anything you learn from a book or even a blog post needs to be test driven. It has to feel right! :)

  9. I agree. And sometimes it depends on the book you're writing. There have been novels that I've outlined and that worked fine, but there have been other books, like my current wip that I'm rewriting and changing. I'm still not certain exactly how the climatic scene will end, which is not like me at all. But it's the way this book has gone. Good luck on your method. Like you said, you have to find what works for you...and sometimes what works for the story you're working on.

  10. Glad you found a path that works for you. There's no specific method for me either. I've written a pivotal scene in advance, and jotted some notes (so I don't forget), but no outlines. The more I read and write, the better picture of all the elements a book needs stick with me, so those rough drafts are less of a mess. But I still have a lot to learn.