There’s nothing to writing.
All you do is sit down at a typewriter
and open a vein.
~ Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith
A book needs more than one idea – it is when two ideas collide that you start writing.
Perfect. I love that. Read the rest of the interview; gems can be found within.
E.E. Knight on Writing Blunders. I’ve done a lot of these, and probably will again, but it’s good to keep in mind when revising.
I do plot, but not in detail. When I start I have a sense of the major characters, the major conflicts, and some of the scenes. Usually also some idea of where and how this particular book will close. Many, many times I�ve been surprised by a character who pops back into the story when I thought we had parted ways. A minor character suddenly intrudes and takes on a much bigger role than first imagined. I have also been taken completely by surprise when my subconscious presented me with a plot twist that I didn�t see coming.
I don�t follow a blueprint, so when archetypal patterns emerge in my stories it is through a subconscious process, brought about by my familiarity with traditional storytelling. I do a lot of my structuring instinctively, which makes it hard to set the process down coherently. There are two elements I think about together � they�re indivisible in the planning process:
1. The personal journey of the main protagonist(s) � what is its shape, what does the person learn, what challenges must he or she face, where does he or she end up?
2. The thematic, political, historical story � the �big� story � what is its overall shape, how does it affect the time line of the book, how can it be interwoven with (1) to make a satisfying whole?
While writing the outline, I do consider where the dramatic points of the story will occur, where the main climax will be, placement of the conclusions of both (1) and (2) so the ending is satisfactory. Ideally the resolution of both personal and thematic stories will mesh together at the end.
Train your writer to take frequent breaks. Jump on and off the chair. Roll a ball across the floor or drop it beside her foot. Repeat until your writer responds correctly. Whining can be effective. However, if a deadline is looming your writer will become blind and deaf to all the usual cues.
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