Friday, November 26, 2010

CALLING ALL WRITERS



Calling all writers!

What kind of writer are you?

An outliner?

Or

A seat-of-the-pantser?

I’m a seat-of-the pantser that has been trying to find my way, feeling as though I need to have more planned out before I begin, yet can’t seem to get myself to do so. I’ve tried the Snowflake Pro, which is amazing and it did help in getting me to know my characters better, as well as forcing me to focus more on what my story will entail. But beyond that, I just CAN’T seem to get anything down on “paper”.

Is that okay?

So my question to all of you published as well as non-published writers is, which are you? As I often read a well written book, I can’t help but wonder if that author is a plotter or a seat-of-the-pantser.

What are your secrets to accomplishing a well rounded, well written story?

How do you go about it?

What steps do you take?

17 comments:

Mark Entner said...

I'm currently writing my first novel, so I'm still trying to figure out what kind of writer I am. I tried writing a detailed outline, but once I started writing I veered away pretty quickly.

For now, I'm trying to map out the next few scenes as I go. That seems to be working pretty well for now. I get the feeling that eventually I'll get better at outlining and I'll end up as an outliner.

Kym McNabney said...

Mark, all the best with your first novel. It's a wonderful feeling when you finish that first draft of your first novel, something you had no idea if you’d actually accomplish.

I've since completed three, and have four others well on their way (A long story as to why I had to stop them. I can't wait to one day get back to them, though.).

When writing my first novel, I was so naive. Had no idea how to go about it so I did what Stephen King said to do in his book ON WRITING, and just started to write. Over 100,000 words later, I’d finished. Sense then I’ve learned much about writing, though I have a long ways to go. Now I struggle with wondering if I should be an outliner or if it’s okay to be a seat-of-the-pantser…or maybe I’m some strange combination of the two.

I’d like to suggest THE SNOWFLAKE PRO, by, Randy Ingermanson, http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/info/snowflake_pro/index.php, as well as the book, GMC, Goal, Motivation, and Conflict by Debra Dixon, and Kate Walker’s 12-Point Guide to Writing Romance. I found all three to be very helpful.

Good luck with your writing, and hope to one day read your novel.

Blessings,

Kym

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

I recently completed the first draft of my novel. I wrote it by the seat of my pants and boy did it show. There were enough plot holes to fill several chunks of Swiss cheese. The characters were one dimensional, and my beginning was cliched.

In my defense, I had a huge learning curve to overcome. By the end of the process I understood the importance of point of view, passive versus active voice and character development. However, before proceeding with the second draft I thought it prudent to learn more about writing fiction, so I purchased several "How to" books and read them from front to back. Then, I started from square one and outlined the entire novel. I just finished the first chapter, and it is more cogent and flows better than the first draft. Needless to say, I will never write by the seat of my pants again.

The moral to my story??? Don't give up. Good writing is about writing, re-writing then writing again. Keep at it...Hard work pays off.

Kym McNabney said...

Andrea,

Thanks much for sharing your writing journey, and for the encouragement. Good luck to you in your writing.

Blessings,

Kym

Sofia Sandoval said...

I prefer to jot my ideas for the feature articles I write. Then as I am writing my article, I glance at my bulleted list and it helps center myself. I know I'm done when I've covered all the points I bulleted.

I write my short stories by hand. I try to be as confortable and free as I can. I've outlined my memoriors by chapters so I jot my notes randomly on the document and use them later for reference.

Kym McNabney said...

Sofia,

Thanks for sharing. Neat to hear of how you use two different methods depending on what you write.

Blessings,

Kym

Susan R. Mills said...

I've tried both. I find that when I outline, my creativity doesn't come as easily, but there is a lot less revision in the end. Now, I work from a middle ground. I plot out the main turning points, but kind of fly by the seat of my pants for the rest. This is the first project I've done that on, so we'll see how it goes.

Kym McNabney said...

Susan,

Thanks for sharing. I really think I'm heading in that exact direction.

Good luck with your writing.

Blessings,

Kym

Ian said...

Bravo

Kym McNabney said...

Ian,

Love the pictures on your blog!

Blessings,

Kym

Debra Collins said...

Hey Kym!

My agent just submitted my first book in October, and I'm currently working on an anthology with three other authors.
And, I have to say I'm certainly a seat-of-the-pants-writer! I may jot down a few ideas or two for the main storyline, but when I sit down to write, sometimes my characters takes on a mind of their own.

I think everyone has their own way of doing things and they'll soon find out what works best for them...if we all done things the same way, this would be such a boring world, wouldn't it?

Thanks for the recommendation on the books you listed. I'm going to go visit Amazon right now.

Happy Holidays!

Debra Collins said...

Kym,
You don't have to post this on your blog I just wanted to tell you I have a great Christmas Giveaway going on over at my blog right now.
I have four Christmas anthologies and lots of Christmas goodies and it all goes to one winner.
I hope you head on over there and check it out.

Kym McNabney said...

Debra,

Wow, thanks for the great input. It’s always so helpful to hear from other seat-of-the-pants, writers. And thanks for the info on your giveaway. I’m always game for a chance to win a book. It’s one of the ways I get introduced to new authors I might not have run across otherwise. It’s how I discovered Sharlene MacLaren's, writing. Now I’m a HUGE fan.

Blessings,

Kym

Karyn said...

I have only written one novel (and am brand new to blogging), so I was very seat-of-the-pants because I didn't know what else to be. I think next time I'll try some organization first, though I think you need a combination of both.

Kym McNabney said...

Karyn,

Congratulations on finishing your first novel. I have a feeling there will lots more in the future. I do believe you’re right, you often need to find a balance between seat-of-the-pants and outlining. I’d like to recommend THE SNOWFLAKE PRO, by, Randy Ingermanson, http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/info/snowflake_pro/index.php, as well as the book, GMC, Goal, Motivation, and Conflict by Debra Dixon, and Kate Walker’s 12-Point Guide to Writing Romance. I found all three to be very helpful.

Blessings,

Kym

Judy Harper said...

Kym-I don't know what I'm going to write about until I sit down at the computer. I did the NaNoWriMo and I was in a quandary right up until Nov 1st. I've tried outling a story, but it reminds me too much of school, and it's distracting. I don't know if you call that writing seat of the pants or not. I had a hard time doing NaNo because I mentally edited as I wrote and it really slowed me down. Like your post!

Kym McNabney said...

Judy,


Wow, you sound a lot like me when it comes to writing. I’ve never heard of NaNoWriMo. Thanks for your comments.

Blessings,

Kym