There are tons of problems with the book.
I've got a funny attitude about this.
Every problem is an opportunity to improve the book.
Every solution to a problem, improves the book.
The chaos is just an opportunity to find new ways of doing it.
of the writer's group members was talking about how real writers plan
everything in advance. Like an artist, they have the vision they want
already in their heads.
I disagreed. I said that my
understanding of many artists is that they often find inspiration in
happy accidents. For me, writing a story means lots of false starts and
deadends, but each of them spark ideas.
is said not to known what he would sculpt until he started carving --
that the stone itself told him what it wanted to be.
seems so bloodless to me to sit around and diagram. Plus, I think
there is a huge tendency now to follow formula's. Lots of writer books
about How To Write.
Don't get me wrong -- all this is important.
usually find where I want to go within about 50 pages or so. But by
exploring the characters and their motivations and having the plot arise
from that, I think I find a book that works better than if I come up
with the plot, and then invent characters to fulfill that plot.
Another member of the group had a great point. What if the end destination turns out to be different from the one you planned?
-- my reading of how-to writing books is that they tend to contradict
each other. Which only confirms my suspicion that every writer does it
The real answer is -- whatever works for you.
have to insert here -- almost every small business book I've ever read
has been utterly useless and unhelpful. My own experience in business
either seems to contradict what they're telling me, or most often, lay
completely outside of what they're telling me. Bah. I suspect writer's how-to books are nearly as useless.
Let me give you another example: there are critiquers
who come to group who have a set of perimeters as to what they think is
good writing, and they apply these rules to every story they hear.
I try to find what parts of the story I've just heard can be improved.
That is, from the story out. Instead of from the rules in.
I've seen writers waylaid by these outside strictures of formula. Instead of following their hearts, they try to conform. Often it seems to me, these writer's never finish, or quit writing altogether.
This is not to say they shouldn't try to learn.
But more important to me, is to start writing and exploring your subconscious.
as a bit of irony. I fully intend to TRY to outline the next book.
I've tried in the past, and never wrote the books. But I admit I'm
getting a little tired of the dead ends and red herrings. So maybe I'll
find out I've been wrong all this time -- that outlining is the way to
I'll give it a try.
5 days ago