Saturday, June 10, 2006

In Control

"Start early and work hard. A writer's apprenticeship usually involves writing a million words (which are then discarded) before he's almost ready to begin. That takes a while." - David Eddings

I'm working through a new WIP idea and I'm taking it step by step for a change. Usually, I get an idea, a couple characters and start writing.

This has had the ultimate result of LOTS of editing required. UGH. Also, there were times when I had no clue where I was going or what came next, and I wasted precious writing time staring off into space trying to figure out what might work.

I'm excited about taking the time to really, thoroughly brainstorm all aspects of this story. I decided to do that because this one is a mystery and will require appropriate clues to be dropped throughout and information to be given to the reader strategically. Also, I really felt like I needed to know what happens all the way through in order to make everything make sense. I hate reading a mystery where something feels like it's significant in some way (long descriptions of a place or object) and then they're never mentioned again. Conversely, I hate reading a mystery where I, as the reader, am not given the tools I need to solve the story myself. I don't expect it to be easy, but I do expect it to be possible.

I'm working with one other writer (it was supposed to be two but one who shall remain nameless - by rhymes with Trudy, and you know who you are - hasn't shown up to play yet) and we've worked through our hero, heroine and antagonist and are moving into the crimes scene(s) and setting next. It's exciting.

I never thought I would ever call plotting and planning exciting. But seriously, if you've never done it and always swore that you're a "pantser" I highly recommend giving it a try. You'll be glad you did.

4 comments:

Judy said...

okay, okay.... you'll be pleased to know that even if I haven't come to play, I HAVE been working! I'm revamping Fiona's Dream and following much your same path.

I'll email you later today... there's a new market I found out about. Right now, I have to go put on my face and we have to go pick up a truck we just bought for the business.

(Oh, BTW, you'll be glad to know that DH has said we have GOT to find more time for me to do my writing. I've started taking along a journal with me on jobs so I can jot down things while we're riding. Makes the handwriting look a bit jumpy, but hopefully I can at least understand my own notes!)

Ceri said...

LOL Yes, what a coincidence that we wrote these entries on the same morning. Hmmm.... And you're definitely right about one thing, when you write by the seat of your pants there's definitely more editing to do later. For me, though, when I start out by plotting it gets boring and I lose interest. I guess that doesn't say much for the story.

What I do do is write scenes out of order. If I get stuck in one spot I'll go and write another scene, sometimes the ending, then I'll just have to link these together. It's worked well for me.

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Kelley said...

I'm working on my first MS. I plotted, but as I got into the story my typing little fingers just decided to change a few things! I think things are working out better now. But, I'm glad I had that initial outline to go with.

Tori Lennox said...

Ack! You're making me feel guilty for flying by the seat of my pants. Not guilty enough to change yet, though. ;)