All the writerly kids are doing it and my writerly friend Kristi Petersen Schoonover tagged me. So, here you are, seven things that someone somewhere might possible wonder or care about my writing. Maybe.
Seven Things About My Writing
1.) This list is super hard because there is nothing consistent, no hard-fast rule, no trick that has worked throughout the ages when it comes to me and my writing. So, I guess the first fact is that I am always learning what works and what doesn’t and that is always changing and what’s true now might not be in the future. I guess these will be 7 things about my writing right now.
2.) It always starts for me with a character. Or a few characters. They are my first and biggest inspiration for writing. They come from the weirdest places and burrow into my brain, in my every waking moment until I do something with them. It will either be a fully realized person who appears in my mind and I will play around with shenanigans and experiences I want them to have/do, or it will be the person and the problem that will present itself/themselves to me and I’ll go from there.
3.) I am a pantser. OMG I am a pantser! I can not write from an outline. Not ever. I remember back when we had to write outlines — with the roman numerals and everything — in school and I would actually write the entire paper first, then go back and write the outline. I found myself doing that for my novels too before I realized something very important. I CAN WRITE ANYWAY I WANT! If I don’t want to write an outline, I don’t have to.
I usually start a story with an idea of where it will go and I’ll jot that down, but then I’ll spend pages (or chapters) just exploring the story and the situations by having the characters do things and take me places. Somewhere along the line, I’ll get to the point and from there, I’ll have a list of things that need to happen that I’ll jot down and work towards. Sometimes one line of dialogue or one aside from a seemingly unimportant character will set the story on a whole other target and I’ll either play with that and it will go nowhere or it will instantly just “click” and feel like fate and I’ll happily toss the jotted notes and go from there. Magic. I call that magic.
4.) All of this leads to a lot of need for editing, cutting, expanding and revising. These are not my favorite parts of the process. I just want to tell stories. I just want them to be right the first time. I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s never going to work like that. Doesn’t stop me from wishing it could be. Doesn’t stop me from thinking at the beginning of each story I start, “This is going to be the one… the easy one… the one that works from the very beginnng… the flawless one…”
It’s the dream.
5.) This also leads to a lot of fly-by-the-seat-of-my pants research. It’s hard to research a story where you don’t know where it is going. So like outlining and the like, research is not my favorite part of the the process. I research as I go and edit and re-plot accordingly. But if someone told me that I’d have to spend a huge amount of time before starting any project doing research to be a legitimate writer, I’d have to sadly turn in my Author card.
But sometimes a little research gives me all sorts of ideas that points me and my characters to places. Sometimes I really love research. It gives me insights into my character and makes me feel that I know them in very real ways and I do love that… a lot.
6.) I like to think all my stories are different and that I’m always exploring different themes, but mostly that’s not true. Mostly all my characters are on some sort of journey, searching for something–usually themselves and a place to belong. I guess it’s true that whole “write what you know” thing. I imagine that all my characters are tiny bits of me.
7.) These days I need a healthy dose of chaos to get any work done. I need to be in crowds where I can oddly, easily tune them out for long bursts of time, then emerge to feed off their random and strange. It also helps if there are other people I know in the mix to share eye rolls and whatnot.
This isn’t how it’s always been for me. This might not be how I am tomorrow. I used to need quiet. I used to need just little bit of music. I used to need to be by myself. The introvert in me sort of misses that. However, the girl who always had a hard time making friends that really ~got~ me will never take for granted that there are people in my life who can hang out with me even if there are long periods of time where I totally ignore them (usually because they’re doing the same).
So, that’s it for me. Let me know if you’d like me to expound on any of these or if there’s anything else you’d want to know. But also, if any of you decide to take up this meme, please do let me know. I’m curious to read how it works for other people.
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