Hi there, loves!
It’s been a while since I talked about “the process.” You know, the nitty-gritty of penning a book.
And there’s something that I’ve realized over the past year.
When I first started writing, I was a total pantster. If that’s a new term for any of you, it basically means I wrote by the seat of my pants. No plan, no outline, no character sheets or premade synopsis. It was me, a computer, and the ideas as they came.
Well, that was fun for a while. But I’d get stuck. And then I’d get bored, and change gears. This led to a whole bunch of halfway-begun and not-great stories.
Once I started selling books, I realized that there were things I didn’t do well in this writing thing. Problems got isolated, and while I realized I had some nice strengths, I also realized I had some pretty tough weaknesses too.
That’s when the tools came in.
Brainstorming by blurbing. The “W” plot. Goal, Motivation, and Conflict worksheets. World building spreadsheets. Backstory planning. All these things are part of my arsenal now, my “writer’s toolbox” as the master, Stephen King, calls them in this fabulous treasure trove.
This stuff can feel cold. Clinical. Dispassionate. But you know what? It’s not. It’s important. Vital. Vibrant and necessary. Because these are the things that make a well-rounded and fun to read story. These are the ingredients that take the book from nice to spectacular. This is the work that has to go in before the final manuscript can be sent to the editor to make it palatable.
It’s like the difference between a kindergartner playing with Play-do and a sculptor forming a statue. One is fun, heck yeah, but the other will stun you with its beauty.
And I’m after the most beautiful story I can make.
How has your writing changed? If you don’t write, what are some of your favorite elements of storytelling? Maybe we can talk about what work goes into creating them.