Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tuesday's Inspiration - Layers #MFRWauthor #writing

Not sure about you but when I start writing a story I leave a lot out. The rough draft is usually perhaps a third of the story. Why do I do it this way. Because I want to see the end, I want to play with my characters and perhaps do a little mind reading. And because I'm not sure what parts of the setting will be important.

Let's look at these points and see what happens later. To me the journey from beginning to the end is the plot. I need to know where my characters are headed and where the journey takes them. Thus I plunge ahead and when I read over the rough draft of the story, I find the plot holes I need to plug when I do the next draft or drafts. Some people writs in such a fashion that each chapter must be perfect before they move along. I admire them but that's not how my mind works. Finding how your mind works is essential to the writer.

The second is playing iwth the characters. Why did they act that who. Do their goals make sense as to the people they are? There are a dozen questions to look at when writing a story and the characters need to make sense. Until I see them in action I don't really know what questions to ask. That's for future drafts.

The third is setting. Some parts of the characters' environments are more important than others. Some are vital to the plot. Setting becomes a sort of character that sits in the background and then starts to come alive and influences the rest of the story.

If I strived for perfection when I started a chapter and couldn't go beyond until I perfected that chapter, my stories would never end or get beyond the first chapter. This is how I tried to write when I began and I found this wasn't my nature. Even now when taking an old story that's out of contract and working on it anew, I find more things to add to the mix. So that's why I write drafts and not stick with one until it's perfect.

As a writer, you have to learn how your mind works in the fictional worlds you create,


Tricia McGill said...

Very wise advice, Janet. I knew a writer who never got beyond the second or third chapter of a book because she was hung up on trying to perfect every sentence first time around.

Janet Walters said...

Trish, I had a critique group member who read the same first chapter for four years.