Monday, July 31, 2017

What is something that other writers rave about that doesn't work for you?


Tomorrow, Roseanna White will be here with a call for submissions to WhiteFire Press. Make sure you return tomorrow to learn all the details!

If you've been writing for very long, you've likely had the experience where every writer you know is completely in love with story boarding/a craft book/a writing software/a podcast. But when you go to try it out, you just don't get it. While this new technique or brainstorming method seems to work great for all your friends, it does nothing for you. 

Our panel question for today is:




What is something that other writers rave about that doesn't work for you?



Shannon Dittemore
I’m a very instinctual writer, so when someone asks me a question like, “Can you pinpoint the crisis in Act One?” I actually stutter. Breaking out a story in that way is valuable, but I certainly can’t do it on the fly. I have to think things through, lay it out. And I’m hesitant to do that much of the time because it turns the enjoyable art of storytelling into a math problem. And I do not like math.








Stephanie Morrill
Scrivener. I know lots of writers absolutely love it. I thought I could be one of them, and I tried very hard. Ultimately, I admitted defeat, and exported my document back into Word. When I looked at the story within the Word document, I felt like I was coming home after a stressful vacation.









Jill Williamson
Ooh, gosh. I agree with Steph about using Scrivener to write books. I’ve tried and it just doesn’t work for me. I do use it to create ebooks, though, when I’m indie-publishing a book. Let’s see . . . You guys might laugh at me, but I’m going to be totally honest here. I don’t get serious outlining. You’re probably thinking, “Wait. Jill talks about outlining ALL THE TIME!” It’s true. For years I have strived to perfect my outlining process to save myself time. And I will always outline to a certain degree. But I have never succeeded in outlining everything perfectly up front. (And I try really hard with each book.) But the truth is, I’m more of a seat-of-the-pants writer than I want to be. And I simply cannot foresee everything that will happen in a story I haven’t written yet, which makes writing the perfect outline in advance impossible, sadly. This is something I’m going to have to grieve and move on from. I’m such an organized person, it just feels like I should be able to nail this process. Alas, my creative brain is wired differently.

What about you?

26 comments:

  1. Definitely trying really hard act-by-act outlines, like Shannon said. I am more of a plantser- I can't write without some kind of outline, but I also can't use too much of an outline.

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    Replies
    1. Preach it, Faith!
      I feel like I have to have some idea what I'm doing, but my WIP began with me just writing. (Which is why editing really stinks.)
      I need planning, but I can't do the traditional outline. I just work on characters and some plot points.
      <3

      iviewrites.blogspot.com

      Delete
    2. I'm similar. I definitely have to write a chapter or two before I can get much of a feel for the story. I have noticed, however, that the more books I write, the better I am at planning them out ahead of time.

      Delete
  2. I would have to say planning. I am a purely seat-of-the-pants writer and can't do much or any planning beforehand.

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    Replies
    1. It's so helpful to know what works best for YOU!

      Delete
  3. I was going to say Scrivener too!!! Which is odd, since I'm a planner. I don't like it. It's not very intuitive to me.

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    1. I've never seen Scrivner, but seeing as planning, for me, is sporadic and odd, I doubt I would like it much.
      <3

      iviewrites.blogspot.com

      Delete
    2. I wanted SO BADLY to like it, and it just didn't work for me :(

      Delete
  4. Oddly enough, planning. I'm typically a "think it through" type of person, but in the realm of creativity, I have to go with the flow. I still do come off with an outline, but some of my best ideas are thought up in the process.

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  5. NaNoWriMo. Although it did help me get a first draft written, it was my messiest one ever. And the whole experience was...meh. *Insert grumpy cat expression* I write happier without all those incentives to spur me onwards.

    -Ann

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    Replies
    1. Same! We have a lot in common. :)
      I was trying to figure out what thing do I not like that other writers do. Now, to be fair, I've never done NaNoWriMo, but the idea just doesn't appeal to me. I guess if someone is an unmotivated writer, then it would help.
      <3

      iviewrites.blogspot.com

      Delete
    2. I totally get that. I put off trying NaNoWriMo for a long time because the timing didn't work for me, and I just didn't think it would be that big of a deal. I liked it more than I thought I would, but it's not a Must Do event for me.

      Delete
    3. I agree with you about NaNoWriMo. I tried it in 2015 and it was so discouraging. I didn't like much of what I wrote. I know you're not supposed to worry about it being messy since it's just to get the story down on paper, but it felt like I was making more work for myself since I was adding a lot of "fluff stuff" trying to get a word count. Glad it works great for other people though! XD

      Delete
    4. @Ivie: Ha, we do have a lot in common. :D

      @Mrs. Morrill: Yeah, definitely not a must do.

      @Emma: It was very disheartening! Glad I'm not the only one who felt that way. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. :D Now I must clean up the aftermath... X)

      -Ann

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  6. I'm gonna go with what Ann said and say NaNoWriMo. While I think its awesome novel writers have their own month, I've never participated officially. It just never interested me to do that. I prefer working at my own pace.

    iviewrites.blogspot.com

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  7. JILL! I am shocked! I totally believed you were a full-blown plotter. I also don't understand Scrivener. The tutorial is SO LONG!

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  8. Planning is so stressful and to tell you the truth, I never really stick to my plans. lol
    I can't say that i don't plan because I do, but sticking to what I come up with is a totally different story.
    Does anyone have the problem of not sticking to their plans?

    *Oh, does anyone know what happens if I publish a short story? (short, meaning 5 pages?) Would it end up in a magazine, or a little booklet of short stories? I want to publish something i wrote, but I want to be sure i like where my story will go. Any facts about this would be nice. :)*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, I don't know anything about the short story market. Depending on the genre, there might be magazines? I would run a Google search.

      Delete
    2. It's okay. :)
      I think I may just do that! Thanks, Mrs. Morrill.

      Delete
  9. Writing without editing. I've heard some writers say it's the ONLY way to write successfully, but it doesn't work for me. I need the freedom to adjust my direction as I go, and fix my mistakes. I couldn't just continue writing knowing something was seriously wrong with my last chapter. I read a quote by an author once that said it's "like leaving a child behind on the road," and that's basically how it makes me feel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Writing without editing? I've never heard of it being done that way. That's never going to happen with me.
      I know, right? How could you leave messy work behind. I mean there's a lot of fluff a lot of times, grammar mistakes, and tons of typos. Plus, you need to re-read a lot of times and change scenes. They seem great when we're writing them, but then you look back and see what you wrote. *shakes head and cringes* This doesn't happen in all cases, but a lot of times it does. lol

      Delete
  10. Hey, y'all! New here. And this question is timely because I'm starting a new novel. I've tried a lot of how-to books, software, and plotting plans. They all make me feel too restricted! I can't even get through my character sheets before I'm ready to start writing. I do make a very rough plan, so I have some direction, but more times than not I end up editing the plan. So, my first draft is almost all seat-of-the-pants. When I get to editing, though, I shift 180 degrees. I outline and write out specific changes, and then follow them exactly.

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    Replies
    1. Welcome!
      Oh, I do the same thing! I want to start to write before I fill out the page. lol

      Delete
  11. The "never stop writing" trend bothers me. I understand what writers mean by that, but also I think that there are some special cases where continuing to write can cause more harm than good. It's okay to take a break and refocus.

    ReplyDelete

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