writers respond

I’ve been meeting so many wonderful writers online these last few weeks and have been dying to ask you all a ton of questions.  I want to hear about your experiences as writers, the luck you’ve had, the hurdles you face, your methods for writing, your fears and dreams and how the heck you find time to do as much writing as you do.

Since I’m afraid to pepper you all with these questions on your facebook pages or blogs, I think I’ll just ask questions from here and you can respond if you’re interested.  I’d love to hear from everyone – it’s nice to know I’m not alone on this journey.  I’m so new to being a “writer” that I’m anxious to know that other writers are experiencing what I am – the ups and downs, the fears and accomplishments.   I hope you’ll share your comments!  So here is my first question:

I’M CURIOUS… Before you begin your book, how do you plan/prepare/organize ?  Do you write a brief or descriptive outline?  Do you have a sheet of notes and ideas?  Or do you just begin writing with one idea and see where the story takes you?  What works best for you, and why?

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6 thoughts on “writers respond

  1. Anna C. Bowling says:

    Good question, Bonnie, and this is something I plan to address in a future Typing With Wet Nails entry, I usually start with a character, and they usually find me. Since I write historical romance, if they don’t tell me right off when their story takes place, I may have to do some hunting, but once that is done, it’s story time.

    I do keep a notebook and a very detailed outline, but the outline is dictated by the characters. In some ways, it’s kind of like archeology; the story is already there, and I have to uncover it.

  2. Kristan says:

    Ack! I’m afraid, I outline madly. Like Anna, it all starts with the characters…why would they be the way they are? What haunts them? What do the want? Why? What will that solve?

    I love outlining. I could outline all the livelong day…but then the first draft always shows me something I had no idea lurked there. That’s the fun of writing, I guess!

  3. Rose Lamatt says:

    I started writing the book, ‘Just a Word’ friends encounter Alzheimer’s by listening to my own voice on a tape recoder. I took care of my friend who had Alzheimer’s for fourteen years. I love to write, it has become a passion gives me something to do every day. I love it, because I’m learning more of my self. When I write, there is always something that wants to come out of me. When it does, I’m in awe what I can learn about me.
    Good luck on your site and your writing.
    Rose

  4. Southpaw says:

    I tend to be an impatient writer. So, I formulate my basic idea, point A and point Z, perhaps a few points in between. Then start to write. I write slowly at first fleshing out my characters and plot points. I take notes as I go.

  5. Bonnie says:

    Thanks for responding! I love hearing your answers – I got some great ideas and it’s fun to hear how differently everyone works.
    For my first book I was similar to southpaw: I had a beginning and end and some ideas for the middle. I felt a little lost that way, though, so for my 2nd book I’m writing a detailed outline like Kristan likes to. I’m sure it will take me another five books before I figure out what really works best for me!

  6. John S. Duffy says:

    I don’t outline anything. I’ve tried to do that and each time the story, language, and characters betray my lack of control.
    I just write what comes to mind.
    If it bites, I kill it.
    If it barks, I mend it.
    If it nibbles, I commute its sentence.
    If it purrs, I let it live.

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