Posts Tagged ‘draft writing’

How We Write Wednesdays: Let’s #weWRITE our way to a new draft!

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

It’s been four months of HoWW craft talk, from characterization to planning to rewriting to drafting. Amazing! And Jenni and I are amazed by the growing enthusiasm for our #weWRITE Twitter hashtag. It’s time to put our money where our mouth is, and challenge our readers and fellow writers to WRITE EVERY DAY for a week. Not for a month. Not an entire novel or story. Not a perfect draft. Just write, fearlessly, until you plug into the energy that calls you to create.

This year, more than any other, that’s what this blog has been for me. If you follow my Revising a Yearseries, you know I needed something to daily inspire me to re-engage my creativity. I challenged myself to write something interesting and meaninful and creative, every day. And the various categories to the right have been buckets of inspiration that refuse to let me off the hook when I sit in front of a blank screen and the doubt demons begin to weigh in on whether I can put imagine on the page that anyone in their right mind would want to read.

Not just How We Write, though working with Jenni on this series has been an amazing experience. But talking about my teenager’s quirky view of life, and about the crazy things I hear throughout the day, and my shoe obsession, and how Publishing Isn’t for Sissies, and my personal challenge to visit all the waterfalls I can reach in North Georgia,  Tennessee, and North and South Carolina. And some of the most amazing mornings have been writing about the dream theories and psychic realm parapsychology that thrives in my psychic fantasy novels.

But… That’s not getting the next book written.

once upon a time

Sure, I’ve worked on several proposals that are now with publishers. Still, the need to write books is always there, waiting for me to dive back into that flow. And I know many of you are in the same place daily. Will I write today? Will I make real progress toward my daily goal? Will I make that book or story or whatever real, when it only exists for now in my head???

So. Here we are. We’ve talked the basics of writing craft. Jenni and I already have plans to cover more formal story structure, etc., because we get so many questions about the terms and techniques we use. And we’re approaching other authors to join us for guest blogs over the summer, to share how THEY write. But that doesn’t get those words on the page, and filling that page with amazing story is ultimately what HoWW and #weWRITE are all about. (more…)

How We Write Wednesdays: I Draft. You Draft. He, She, We and They Draft…

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

We all draft story differently. We all find our own way to create something magical from raw creativity and intuition. HoWW today is about finding your own way to draft AND helping each other grow!

Jenni shared last week all the amazing, structured, spreadsheet-y ways she keeps up with details while she writes “freely” during her drafting phase. It’s pretty impressive. I tried it that way for a few books–NOT a pretty picture, me drooling in the corner, clutching all my charts close and whining because I can’t be creative with the analytical part of my brain engaged…

But I’m REALLY glad it works so well for Jenni, and that she looks so cool and professional with all her screen shots and all. You know, while geeky little me left show and tell behind when I was talking planning and rewriting, and all I’ve got to share now is my, “I can’t do anything but free write when I’m drafting, or my imagination shuts down…” advice to share.

Let me look. Maybe I have an image to help you visualize what I’m feeling as I write this…


No, it’s not that bad.

But Jenni and I DO draft that differently. She has to keep up with the details or she shuts down. I have to write blind, or I never let the details of what I’ve planned and already written go long enough to actually create something new.

If you’re someone who starts a book and months (even years) go by and you never get any further than chapter three or four, you might be one of “my” people ;o)

More than that, if you find yourself stopping your forward momentum too often and never achieve a rhythm in the drafting phase of your process–if you never feel that swell of knowing you’re in the right place with your story and you could keep writing forever it feels so good–SOMETHING is stalling out the imagination and confidence that feeds you.

If that’s the case, then it’s time to take a closer look at how YOU’RE writing. (more…)

How We Write Wednesdays: The ONLY WAY to Draft Your Novel

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

As promised, today’s the start of our all-in, sure-fired, do it THIS WAY month of novel drafting instruction. Because if you don’t do it THIS way, you’ll fail. What way? YOUR WAY.


one way

Yeah, this month’s blog courses won’t be any more straight-forward than the last three (which are summarized at the bottom of the post). Jenni’s starting today with a great discussion of her drafting method. So NOT my method, because she’s still all about spreadsheeting and outlining when she draft writes, and geeky me can’t let myself go there while in this “in-between” creative place.

In between planning and rewriting, I have to stop thinking. No, I don’t actually turn my brain off. But I do have to tone down the analytical volume of my cognitive thinking, so that juicy imagination takes over. I’ve tried it Jenni’s way. And, I know you’ll find this hard to believe, her very structured method of drafting doesn’t work for me. Spreadsheets and outlines are like crack for a mind like mine. I’d be hitting that pipe all day long, while  never giving free rein to those characters and settings and turning points I planned for.  The creativity that comes second to my nature, behind the drive to understand EVERYTHING before I write anything, would never take the wheel.

Jenni and I aren’t polar opposites in our process. We share many of the same drafting techniques–and I’ll get to them next week when it’s my turn. BUT, we each have our own individual method. No matter how many times we talk and compare notes and critique for each other, we’re never tempted to trade in our individual approaches to writing story for the other’s. Because doing exactly what she does would stall my creativity, and vice versa. We have to understand and trust our own writing strengths and weaknesses and own the drafting approach that gets us to the end of that “ugly” first draft with the best story we’ve ever written.

And so do you.

stop signs

The only GUARANTEED method of drafting success is your method. Your way. (more…)