Monday, August 12, 2013

I Will Never Be One of Those Writers

Happy Monday, all! Hope you had a glorious weekend.

As I tear my hair out over the second draft of The No-Kids Club - which I thought I'd finished and got everything spot on... so not the case!), I have finally come to terms with the fact that I will never be one of those writers. You know, the ones who have everything planned out on neat little PostIts or glossy whiteboards -- and who somehow manage to stick to it.

How? How do they do it? (Can you hear me howl?) Because no matter how many times I vow I've got it right, and that this is the time I've got everything sorted beforehand, inevitably once I've started drafting I'll take a look at my meticulous plot and think: naaahhhhhh. And then blithely go on my merry writing way.

I've written oven ten novels now -- not many by some standards but not a paltry sum, either -- and I have finally made peace with my writing process. The only way my writerly mind makes sense of things is by writing, rewriting, rewriting the rewrites, and rewriting some more. Sigh!

But as frustrating as that may seem sometimes, it's part of the fun, too. You never know what road you'll go down, what new characters might come up, or what the finished product will resemble (hopefully not a pile of poo).

So here's to never being one of those writers!

What kind of writer are you?

38 comments:

  1. I'm a dreamer. I daydream about new books whenever I'm not actually writing, so while I don't tend to plan things out, I do frequently have a plot worked out in my head before I start. Most often I work out the ending first, because endings are my favourite, and work out how to get there as I write.

    I'm kind of scared at the moment, though. In my new book, I thought of the start first, and I'm still not entirely sure what the ending will be.

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  2. Hi Talli - I think I'd be tearing my hair out - maybe that's what I've been doing .. as I haven't much left! - but I admire all of you who are authoring books .. and ten is no mean feat ..

    Good luck with all the shenanigans of finishing The No-Kids Club off ..

    Cheers Hilary

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  3. I also deviate like mad! And it makes me feel guilty because I can never stick to the original plan, try as I may. :/

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  4. I'm sorry, I guess I'm one of those writers. I plan my outline to death so I don't have major rewrites. Then again, your planning stage is probably much shorter than mine!
    Keep at it, you'll get it right.

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  5. I'm not one of those writers ever. I just sit down and let the characters tell me their stories. :) The hard part is getting them to take turns. ;)

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  6. We sail the same boat, Talli! I have tried it all, and at the end of the day, I write, re-write, and write again. Not a plan in sight. Like shopping lists, I forget I have written them!

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  7. Talli - I actually shudder wheb I see a post it note plan. I know it works brilliantly for some but I hate the idea. I do make copious notes as I go along, but rarely ever look back at them; they're more for brainstorming - or jotting down insights. Not a methodical bone in my body! Hurrah!

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  8. I'm the same as you! No plan just a loose idea for a plot and off I go! It all works out in the end and then you get wine!

    Mandy :)

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  9. I plan the first three-fourths, and then I wing the rest. ;)

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  10. I write the same way. I call them drafts but they're really rewrites and rewrites.

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  11. Yup, I'm not a postit gal either. In fact if I DID know exactly where the plot was going, I wouldn't bother writing the book coz I'd be bored. I'm the 'jump off the cliff and see where you end up'' kind of writer. Know what? I always bet I can pick out the ''meticulously plotted'' books..they're the ones where the writing never really lifts off the page. Pantsters forever!!!

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  12. I'm another one who isn't one of 'them'! I just point myself in the direction of a story and then things happen. Sometimes they have to happen a few times to get it right, but they get there in the end! Happy writing, Talli!

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  13. You must write in the manner which creates the novel you are satisfied with at the end. It is a manner that will evolve as you evolve as a writer. Dean Koontz starts with a starting incident or main character and lets the story flow without structure from there -- but many criticize his endings which often fail to live up to the great start.

    May this novel turn out the best yet! :-)

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  14. Talli, at this point, I think you are set in your ways. It sounds like you enjoy the what-may-come style.

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  15. I'd like to be one of those writers, but I write in quite a haphazard way. Had hoped that after a few more novels, I might get the hang of it, but perhaps not! Good luck with the second draft of The No-Kids Club Talli!x

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  16. I'm a bit of both, a plotter and planner but sometimes I just like to write off the cuff and see what happens. It's all fun, no matter how it's done :)

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  17. I'd say ten novels is very impressive; it's more than I've written. I'm not a very organized writer; I once finished a draft of a novel only to realize that it was missing something: a new character. Once I included scenes with the new person, he changed the whole story.

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  18. I am the same kind of writer as you, Talli. And ten novels is awesome.

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  19. Having a little one doesn't seem to have slowed you down. Good for you.

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  20. I'm a planner and seem to plan more and more each time. It's taken me a long time to realise this is what works for me.

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  21. I plan it all out in advance... but the plans are in my head. Sometimes they get lost in there.

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  22. I blogged about this recently. I'm a pantser trying to become a plotter. Damn hard! But I'm told you just have to plot it all out beforehand. But that doesn't work for me -- my stories develop in their own way. To each his own.

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  23. I'm a pantser....I blame it on the fact that my desk is in the ding room and there would be an outcry if I put post it notes all over the wall :)

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  24. I find that the surprises that strike me at the spur of the moment are often the best bits of my book. I like to plan, but I give myself permission to deviate as inspiration strikes.

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  25. I WANT to be one of those writers. I really do. I've even bought post-its. Unfortunately, my characters have other ideas and my outlines often end up more like guidance notes.

    Maybe I need to buy more stationery!

    Your novels are fab, so whatever you're doing, it's working.

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  26. Nope, me neither! I couldn't ever plot in depth - much more exciting to draft my way into the story and the hearts of the characters!

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  27. Whatever works is what works! I'm the opposite of you - I need a clear-cut plan before I can even start writing. I wish I could pants and be all spontaneous and "hey, look at what popped out of my head without even trying!" but I sadly can't.

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  28. I'm definitely a flying-by-the-seat-of-the-pants writer. I used to plan EVERYTHING in advance, but now that I'm self-published, I can just let the characters tell me their story without concern for what the publisher might want....

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  29. This makes me feel so much better cause I don't think I can be one of those writers either. I always think I should be but I just.can't.do.it!!!

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  30. The fiction I sort-of plan. I know the beginning and the end, and then play around with ideas about the middle. And can easily find myself writing something that is truly wonderful but completely irrelevant - so I can end up with a bit of a muddle, But at least it's a first draft, and someones one or two bits survive.

    The travel writing - well that's much more straightforward. I know the story - the task there is to find the focus that holds it together.

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  31. I absolutely cannot plan or plot ahead, although sometimes I wish I could!

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  32. I'm totally one of those writers. If I figured it out ahead of time I'd die of the creeping mold. yes, I would.

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  33. as I have only just started to write my first book, I don't really know what kind of writer I am. I am learning very quickly what kind I am not however. I am not organised, no matter how hard I try. All my frantic notemaking does not help me in the slightest. I refuse to let well enough (who says) alone and reread and rewrite all the time. I am beginning to think I will never finish because I am never satisfied.
    DaVinci said that art is never finished, it has to be abandonned... so who knows?

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  34. Talli, I really don't think plotters have it any easier. The reason is you can't get to know your characters or find all those connections until you've written it, stepped back, received feedback, and played around with it. I think only by writing and revising do we get those Aha! moments.

    Good luck as you plow on!

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  35. Hi, Talli. It feels like forever since I've been by... *stretches out hand to be slapped* ;)
    Can you believe the folks who have whole binders of stuff on every character, no matter how major or minor they are? I could never do that. When the story has developed in my head, I'm ready to write and don't want anything stopping me. And I only type up a basic outline. To me, not knowing every little part of the story is part of the fun of writing it. Sounds like you feel that way, too.
    Try not to pull out too much of your hair, ok? You've seen my picture, right? That's what happens when you do that!

    -Jimmy

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  36. It is so refreshing to know that I am not alone as far as the rewrite of rewrites is concerned. I usually have the opening acene, general plot, and then closing scene in mind. The rest kinda unfolds along the way.

    Your blog is inspiring, thanks.

    Mario

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  37. Oh yes, I agree. I'm repeatedly tempted to try to plan everything out on posters etc. but then I know I just can't do it that way. :)

    Having trouble sticking to special "writing times" too.

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  38. Plotter and storyliner then taking it from there. But it does moves around a bit!

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Coffee and wine for all!