WRITING IN PROGRESS: DO NOT DISTURB:
Hey! weren’t you eagerly watching your email for my next fascinating post!!??
So, you may have noticed that I missed posting this last week.
This is a good sign, indicating that I did dive into my writing regimen as I promised. And it is going well, I’m happy to report.
I have also been faithfully hand-writing three full pages of free-associated pondering every morning first thing before I even go downstairs to brush my teeth and feed the cats! I find it really does help clear my mind and get a fresher start on the day’s agenda.
So far the main thing I have learned in the BIAM writing program is that I do not like to follow pre-designed outlining formats such as are given in the book I bought.
I still read the commentary and learn how other writers do their thing, which is very interesting and sometimes useful. But I find myself relieved to be assured that everyone has a different approach and therefore mine is no better or worse than another person’s … it is just the one that works best for me. There are no rock-inscribed rules, no absolute right or wrong way to author a book, no sacred laws or rules beyond the basic ones of grammar, and even those can be broken by a savvy writer.
Trial and error prove to be the best instructors for some of us… especially we “Pantsers”, as the writers jargon describes authors who write free-style letting the story “tell itself from the keyboard as we type.” I should own that… writing by the seat of my pants as I type or scribble long-hand.
The “other group” of writers are called the “Planners”… meaning they like to outline their plot all ahead of time before actually writing the story.
Which does not work for me at all, I’m afraid. But I am learning that what does work for me is to go ahead and write the whole thing as far as it unfolds naturally. Then I go back and read the whole manuscript first draft and see all the holes and what a stupid mess it is… then I put it aside and forget about it.
NO, no, no! Not anymore. Now I calmly re-read the rough draft and begin to make a sort of outline of the order in which things have come down… then I begin to re-arrange it, plug in the holes with new material__ either written out long hand or just scribbled into the outline. (This is what I spent the first few days doing this week.)
After I have the pieces all rearranged into what I feel is a better flow, I go back to the keyboard and peck in the new scenes or chapters, and re-organize the existing material according to my outlined plot plan!
So__ it’s out line after writing, not before for me! Eureka! And it feels good to have this sense that I finally know what I am doing. And it’s okay if others don’t do the same.
I had been caught in the perennial writers trap of thinking there are some magic rules and tricks by which really Good writers (those with lots of books on the market, with gazillion followers and fans, and raking in the $$.) are privy to and that will become known to me only after I have jumped through enough hoops and different instructors and books advice and torn out all my hair because none of them work for me and blame myself thinking I simply am fooling myself, and concluding that I am not a writer at all!
Whee…!! What a wonderfully freeing feeling! I do plan to continue with the BIAM program and probably use it again, but with my own methods. The daily regimen does work to keep me going and it is very helpful to have an online group with which to check in once in a while, even if we are all too busy working on our own book to take time to read very much of another person’s writing. It is fun to see what others are writing and give a little feedback.
Next month is another program: “nanowrimo”__(stands for: National Novel Writers Month) It is aimed, I think, at a slightly more challenging goal: to actually finish a near publishable draft! I will see how this month rolls out first. Stay tuned.