How does your muse work?
I’m always curious about how other writer’s work. What’s their process? Do you plan out every detail of your story before you start writing? Do you even bother with an outline? Plotter or Pantser? Or are you a hybrid that I’ve come to call a Plotpantser? Meaning, you write out a basic outline, but don’t plan every scene before you start.
If you have an outline, do you follow it faithfully? As my friend Denise puts it when her muse tries to lead her astray, “Follow the GPS, bitch!”
Or do you follow the muse where it leads? Tossing out the outline when an idea strikes and writing like a blind person being lead about by a guide dog? Not quite sure where you’ll end up, but you’ll have a great time getting there.
But more than that. Do you write your story from beginning to end? Or do you write whatever scene is in your head at the time and piece it all together later?
Do you stop and fix mistakes as you go? Or do you let it go until you’re finished and worry about it in the editing round?
These things fascinate me because every writer answers the questions above differently. What works for one writer doesn’t for another. I’ve tried a multitude of the variations above and found that I work better as a plotpantser. When I have a story idea, I write out a short outline with basic ideas and leave the details to the story as I write it. That outline is also a moving target. It changes as I write the story.
I’ve never written a story from beginning to end. Many a time, I’ve written the end before I’ve started the beginning. I tried to write beginning to end only once. I found I got bogged down and couldn’t get another line out until I gave up that idea and just worked on the scenes bouncing around in my head.
I also tend to edit as I write. I’ll write out a scene, let it “bake” overnight and go back over it the next day. Sure enough, I’ll add bits, reword bits and sometimes even remove bits. I might return to a scene a week later and do it again.
Perhaps I don’t write stories as fast as I used to when I first started and did everything wrong. But my method works for me.
The great thing about all this is, there is no wrong answer!
I’ve read many books that give you the “best” way of writing a book. I’d say none of them are wrong in their approach. It’s just that approach doesn’t work for everyone.
At the end of the day, the only way to get a book written is to write!
Enjoy your musings. If you want, let me know what your process is. As I said, it always fascinates me how everyone works.
Until next time…