Tag Archives: scenes

Post-Planning

11 Jan

The whole point of planning is to do it before what it is you are undertaking. It’s so all you have to do is follow the path instead of wading through the wilderness. What if I told you, though, there’s also something like post-planning?

You might think I’m mad. And I am, but that’s neither here nor underwear. Personally, I have tried to plot and plan, but my biggest dream of actually plotting most of my novel and writing like the blazes because of it has only happened once. A small thought stepped forward while I was trying to train myself to plot and it occurred to me that writing a first draft IS the plotting. You write it and afterwards you make a lay-out of your scenes and character growth and all that. It makes it easier to check your work and then make any necessary changes. Basically it makes you an edit-plotter, though I’m sure there’s a cooler name for it. Hang on, I’ll think of one.

This means that really there are no wing-it writers, there are just different ways of plotting. What ever works for one writer, will not work for the other. I mean, think about it, our characters are so different from each other. Doesn’t it make sense that humans are are also very different from each other?

DEATH DRAGON WRITER. Yes, that’s the cooler the name. Spread the word. You’re writers, you’ll be good at that.

 

The Art of Revising

9 Feb

And there it is: a plot hole, a character that doesn’t feel quite real, a motivation that is lacking. There’s always something you find could use improving if you take out a magnifying glass and look through it with a reader’s brain instead of a writer’s heart.

And therein lies the rub. Once a story has been written, whether it’s a first draft or not, it’s hard for the writer to erase those words from paper. I like to see it as the power of the written word. They plant their roots in paper and it’s hard for the writer to pull them out, since he was the one who planted them in the first place.

This is why reliable ninja readers are so important, they weren’t there when you planted those words and they only care about how they look when bloomed. And this is also why you should let your story simmer before rereading it. Then you’ll be able to read it more as a reader, as opposed to a writer. Also, your subconscious knows so much, so be sure to take notes about which doubts are shouting at the back of your head. Chances are, if you have a strict ninja reader, that he’ll point out the things you suspected and this will make your inner (re)writer’s hands itch. No writer wants to pee in his own shoe. We want our story to be the best that it can be and we are the only ones that can make that happen.

Now comes the tricky part, which is to actually incorporate those changes necessary to benefit your story. The story is an intrinsically woven web of multi-coloured threads. Pull on one of them and the entire thing could collapse. And since I wing it more than I plan it, I find it difficult to uncover a way that works for me and doesn’t involve a lot of grunting, sighing, muttering and complaining on Twitter. What once really helped me was writing down the situation at the beginning and at the end of the novel and work my way to the middle, writing down the scenes that needed to come after the beginning and before the end. It’s a great way to plan your novel and keep sight of the thread that binds all the scenes together. You’re forced to ask yourself: What needs to happen in order to get to that next point?

So, keeping in mind the changes I need to make, I think I’ll use this method to determine where and how new scenes need to take place. (Easier said than done!) And I’ll probably still complain on Twitter.

This leads me to my question for all of you fellow writers, how do YOU rewrite?

 

writing journal

Notebook Shenanigans

15 Jan

As per my resolutions, I am scribbling fiercely in my notebooks. I know, even my pet dragons are surprised. Since I am thoroughly enjoying those moments and proudly told someone about my notebooks and handed out advice about what to write in them, I figured, why not share with you, loyal reader writers.

So here we go, based on my notebook shenanigans: WHAT TO WRITE IN YOUR NOTEBOOKS…

 

  1. You need at least one notebook that must be called Book of Wordiness. This is the notebook that you’ll fill with….well, words. Not just any words, though. See, what makes writing an art is when you use the ‘write’ words. Fill this notebook with words you find beautiful and fill it with the synonyms of everyday and/or simple words. Like walking, smiling or looking. There are many words for the same thing. Use them. Diversity is good. Fancy words are also good, as long as you use them sparingly. Also fill this notebooks with metaphors or similes that you come up with. Or perhaps any interesting descriptions or other sentences that pop into your head. Beautiful crap, basically. 😉
  2. One notebook needs to be filled with writing tips. Just writing tips.
  3. One for outlining stuff and structure. So, drawings of the three-act structure and the character arc. Things like that. You can adapt those to any story you write and add brief outlines or frameworks for your stories.
  4. One for short stories and writing prompts. Fill it with post its and put a mini sticky note after each writing prompt or short story to separate them, but write the name of whatever is on that page on top of the sticky note so that when you need to find a writing prompt or short story, you can immediately find it.
  5. One for your novels. Plot outline, characters, scene descriptions, excerpts. Anything to do with the Big Works.

 

And that’s about it. Depending on what you write, you can also get a notebook for each genre, but hey, I like any excuse to buy MORE notebooks. Basically I could manage with five different notebooks, but I have like ten. Why, you ask? Because notebooks are AWE…wait for it….EPIC!

If you don’t have a notebook, get five. And if you do, tell me what you write in them. I’d like to know about your writerly shenanigans.

 

Happy scribbling.

 

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