While reading this post on one of my favorite blogs, Writers in the Storm, I happened across Janice Hardy’s blog, The Other Side of the Story and the post clicking that link will take you to. I spent well over an hour perusing the blog posts Janice has posted on her blog. They are all helpful and great techniques.
I’ve been trying to tap into the person I used to be, but I can’t help but look at the way other people do things.
You see, I have yet to find my own way. I have yet to find the perfect blend of plotting and pantsing that allows me to know what’s going to happen without knowing what’s going to happen.
In most aspects of my life, I tend to do things the hard way. The same is true in the way I think about my current projects. I think of them as too complex than they really are, or vice versa. Both of these things stop me from my creative pursuits. One would think, as a writer, nothing should stop me from writing, but I have this stupid fear that I won’t do my own story justice. That I won’t convey what I want to convey in the character arc (what the heck is that?) or the inciting incident won’t be… inciting enough.
Something that I’ve been thinking about doing, but for some reason haven’t done yet – probably because I’m easily distracted (Especially by my sparkly wedding rings as the light glints off of them – oooh, shiny) – is to write out the story as if I am telling someone what happens. Just a casual conversation. The way I told my dog, Belle, about what my story is about and what happens in the beginning (I told her because I know she won’t tell anyone else. She is the best secret keeper I know). There’s no rules to how I write this out, and I can be vague if I don’t know if something is working. I can even use -ly adverbs.
This is along the same lines of telling someone the plot of a movie you recently saw, or a book you’re reading.
Janice Hardy recommends doing this in her blog post, I Have an Idea, Now What. Step 10 in this post is to summarize the story in the way I have just talked about.
I don’t know why I can’t live with the kind of conviction others can. I’m a wishy-washy type. If I like someone’s argument I tend to flip to their side even if it goes against what I believed before. I also tend to need permission to do things.
For example, you’ll remember I recently spoke of being true to myself as a writer, and even though I made the decision to just stop planning and just write, I still needed to hear that from my writerly BFF, Angela Alsaleem (whose book, Women Scorned, comes out on April 12th! You can buy it now from Journal Stone and get a free e-version!). She gave me permission to write the way that works for me.
And though I swore to stop reading “how to” articles on writing and books on writing because they usually only tell me how to write by the author of the article or book, Janice Hardy’s articles stand as more advice than “this is the right way to do it” types of things.
For that, I will follow some of her pre-writing steps, only because they work for me and I believe they will help me with my current WIP – a character driven story.
Claire L. Fishback