Posted by Larry Kollar on Thursday, November 08, 2012
I’ve learned something about my internal writing process this week. I’ve been a “pantser” (i.e. writing my the seat of my pants), as opposed to a plotter, for a long time. So I would think of a pivotal scene, write it, then fill in the spaces in between the pivots. I always thought of it as “organic story development” rather than “pantsing” though.
So for reasons as different as the stories themselves, I thought I’d try plotting several of my upcoming story ideas. Even though I gave myself permission to change the outline as I went, I found myself getting bogged down early on. It was the gigantic word-bomb that Mik and Sura dropped on me that helped me figure out why. They forced me to write the beginning and the end of Accidental Sorcerers 2, and left that long dry in-between for me to finish on my own. When I have an outline—which for me means chapters and scene titles laid out in Scrivener—I feel like I have to start writing with the first empty scene. I need to add a little organic fertilizer to this non-organic story development, and make myself write the scenes where I know what’s happing now. That will help me fill in those ever-smaller in-between spots.
First attempt was a success. It took 20 minutes to write the first 30 words. Then I got 100 more down in the next 10 minutes. An hour later, I was up to 1,200 words. Always something new to learn!
The Skeleton Song, free on Amazon. I edited it, so you can blame me for any remaining typos. ;-)
Meanwhile, I’m hoping to have two Termag novellas out over the winter. Pickups and Pestilence should be out come spring, and that’s just the beginning…