I know I should either create an outline and then write the story, or start writing and simply let the story flow, writing from beginning to end without editing along the way. One way or the other would be efficient…but that’s not how I work, which results in a lot of backtracking and rewriting.
I always think I’m going to change, that I’ll do a better job with the next book, but that never seems to happen. I start a story, might even create a simple outline, and then, somewhere along the way, I suddenly realize that’s not how I want the story to go, or that’s not really what a character wants.
I have a writer friend who last month wrote 200 pages of a new novel. During that same time period, I wrote 18 pages. When she starts writing, she knows her characters, and she lets them determine the direction of the story. She’s always worried that she has too many words with her finished novels and will have to cut some (that rarely happens); I’m always worried that I won’t have enough words (that sometimes happens). We both started writing about the same time and she’s published three times as many books as I have.
She’s an efficient writer, I’m not.
So what should I do???
Probably stop lamenting about my writing style and realize my friend and I are simply different. I don’t write like her and I don’t write the same type of stories as she writes. That doesn’t necessarily mean the way I write is wrong. Inefficient yes, but not wrong since at some point in time I do get a book written, and even though I’ve never hit the New York Times list, my stories have received nice reviews and some awards.
The point of this blog is:
- Learn about outlining and various methods of coming up with a story.
- Try different techniques.
If you find one that works for you, something that helps you create the story you want to tell, then use that skill. If you simply can’t write that way, don’t worry about it. No one can tell a story the same way you do, and it doesn’t really matter how you get from page one to the end, just that you do it, and when you’re finished, you’re proud of what you wrote.
Go forth and write.