For standard novel sizes I begin writing down ideas in a composition book. I initially write only on the right-hand page. The reason for that is when I get an idea that fits into a plot structure I have noted, I can add a note to it on the left-hand page. That helps build the structure of the book as new ideas arise based on what has developed so far.
Thanks Dianne. I had to take a couple of weeks off while we were on the road, and then got the new issue of the Gypsy Journal out. But I was able to get back to it this afternoon, and knocked out about 2,000 words on book three of the series.
I tend to get a crazy idea and just write that bit first. I have this huge stack of partial bits of books, though I did struggle to to sew together one book doing that!
The one I am writing now I am trying to be more disciplined with, although I do keep going off on a tangent for something that is going to happen later and abandoning my new found ethic... hold habits and all that
I used to be a seat of the pants type but, although my characters were interesting my plots were a mess. Now I sometimes take months working out an outline. I find it incredably freeing. Because I can concentrate on the characters and the writing style itself.
You are doing the sensible thing, Alison. I will try really hard to stick to my routine now, because I find that when I do fly off on a tangent I am missing out a lot of development for the characters.
Hell, I already knew how the story went so I went charging in... ooops... that doesn't mean the person reading it first time is going to get all the images I had in my head... can be so blonde sometimes (and don't pick on me for that statement... I am blonde)
My style is similar to so many of you: Jrcsalter, 5kira, Mistermixer, Beccamills and Eclecticmango. Once we have a rough idea of the beginning and the end, we watch the plot evolving from the egg to the caterpillar to the pupa to the butterfly, isn't it?
My style is similar to so many of you: Jrcsalter,
5kira, Mistermixer, Beccamills and Eclecticmango.
Once we have a rough idea of the beginning and the
end, we watch the plot evolving from the egg to the
caterpillar to the pupa to the butterfly, isn't it?
That's such a lovely way to put it, Vasant, though I think in my case it's more that I suck at coming up with plot and need to write my way into it.
I have attempted a strict outline. It lasted about three pages before my characters laughed at me and twisted the story in a different direction.
Now I'll do a very short, sketchy outline for the plot progression and pages of notes on character personalities/descriptions/skills, the setting (history, weather, trade, how it fits with the world), and other background/supporting information.
Then I write - I can stick to the outline if it's sketchy enough -> problem is presented, B begins poking into problem, finds culprit - very very unhappy, painful death to the deserving.
If I try to outline when various points are uncovered, and how, and the response, then it all twists into other things.
So I'll take an idea, figure out the characters and the setting and the general idea of where I want the plot to go and then write.
Experience has told me that this is the best way for me. because the outlines never work, and then I feel like the outline was a waste of time, and... you know, that's time I could spend writing out things, or poking into how did this character turn out like that.
Learned my lesson trying seat of the pants, especially for a mystery thriller. I do outlines now. Full, heavy outlines that I can fill in with mini-scenes if inspiration hits while I'm planning them. I suffered entirely too much without an outline because I ended up writing whatever details inspiration provided, which made it much harder to change because it felt like so much work to write in the first place.
Much easier to change an outline, in my opinion.
I also do excel spreadsheets of scenes, characters, clues on a skeleton outline to help me track things. But then again I'm writing a futuristic thriller trilogy and there are a lot of things to track.
Hi! It took me YEARS to get my first book out - but less than half a year to actually write it and edit it. The reason? I think I listened to the 'experts' for so long about how to start a story...outline, plot, character development...all on paper. Well, I don't work so well on paper.
So last year, I decided to combine a few ideas that had been bouncing around inside my skull for who knows how long...and I just started writing! I also wrote a second book the same way. BUT, I will admit, after starting each story, and creating new characters, I jotted down the basics in a notebook. I use sticky notes galore to move info around in there. lol