Saturday, July 13, 2013

Forget Everything you Know about Writing

I know, I know, I just told you to educate yourself about how to write a good book. Don't hate me before you've read what I have to say.
First of all, if you've read books about how to write your head is probably filled with a lot of fantastic information. Wonderful.
The problem here, for some of us, is that all of that information can be overwhelming.
It can be damn near terrifying to think of all the things that need to go into your book. Where do you even begin?

Well, if the books you read were similar to the ones I read they told you to start with an outline.
You get the basic idea for your novel and then shove that into a framework, aka, your plot. To do this you'll need to figure out the inciting incident, the midpoint mirror, the call to action, antagonist's motivation, back story and the list goes on and on. (And if you don't know what I'm talking about here, I'll post more about that later)
 So, I did as I was told. Or at least tried to do it.  Months went by and no matter how I approached it,  I couldn't plot out the entire story. And worst of all, I hadn't written a single word! I didn't have a plot. I didn't have an outline. And I wasn't getting any closer to having a novel.
Then I forgot what I'd read in all of those books and just started writing. Yay! Freedom. Back to doing what I wanted to do in the first place.
I didn't think about the protagonist's journey, or the introduction to normal, I just wrote.
Now I'm 8,000 words in and I still do not completely understand why my antagonist is being so mean to my protagonist. Gasp!! Are you horrified?
The truth is, I wish I could have plotted it all out into a neat little stack of note cards. It would certainly have made it easier to write and, oh SO much less work in the editing process.
But my brain just doesn't work like that. I had to write about the characters to get to know them. And how could I possible know what they were going to do in the story until I knew them a little better.
The bottom line is that eventually you're just going to have to put the bit in your mouth and pull the cart up the hill. Yes, in this analogy you are the horse and your book is the cart.
Will you still have to take the time to plot out your novel? Yes. Will all those fancy things you learned in the books have to be put into your novel? Yes.
Is it going to be a lot of work? Yes. But the important thing is to write it. Just put those words on the page and you can work on the details later.
But don't stop reading those how to books! You'll definitely want to have all that information for your vast amount of rewriting:)


  1. Thank you so much for commenting on my books and covers. The dog on the covers is our family dog, Elliott! He loves being in the stories.
    I agree that you can read about writing till your cross-eyed, but it's the writing process that makes the difference. If you want to be a dancer or singer can you succeed without practice? Certainly not. Writing is the same.

    1. That's the hard truth. Write, write, write, and write even more:)
      And what I'm I doing today? Surfing the net!!

  2. Whatever works for you is what works! :) Good luck!

    1. Man, I wish I was the plotting type though:) Thanks for the luck, I'll need it. I'm already thousands of words behind my monthly goal! Lame!!