Monthly Archive for: "August, 2016"
I decided to become an outline person.
Writer’s divide themselves into pantsers (writing by the seat of your pants without planning) and those who plan ahead and improve the outline before committing words to the page. The reality is that there is a mix of outlining and free form writing that everyone does, and everyone leans more or less toward one style or the other.
For the last three years or so I’ve been pushing myself to lean more toward the unplanned whirling chaos of the free writing – let’s get weird and wonderful and creative without an outline. Another writer and I talked about the difficulties of writing a multiple-book series. I suddenly realized that some of my problems might not be with the writing, but the general lack of outline. And I’m applying that new awareness to the short story I’m currently working on instead of the novel that I’m bored with.
I decided to come back to the blog. But before I do that, I need to say why I left. The blog wasn’t interesting to me, period. So why would anyone read it? And as a writer, I’m always trying to reach an audience. Over a year ago I knew I needed to take a few weeks off and wait for an idea.
When I talk to strangers, they seem most interested in me as a writer. So I should blog about that. Sounds simple enough. The actual day-to-day slog is me stuffing chopped words into a sausage of a story. The development of characters and ideas is the added beauty that makes the words sing.
Lately, what I’m thinking about is age. I’m not interested in writing YA fiction, but I am jealous because the age of the main character is defined. Pick an audience: say 8th grade. That defines the age and maturity of the protagonist. I’m trying to write for all adults. To reach the most of these readers I have to guess at the best age for my hero. Or I can ask you the reader: What’s the best age for a main character?