Wild Words . . . Photos & Fine Art

Co-creating by heart with sandy cathcart through writers helps and art info, focusing on all things wild.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Question Number One

Okay! It’s time to tackle those questions. Here’s the first:

1. Are you a one-two-three kind of writer? Like all your ducks in a row? Or do you start a project here, and another there and kinda juggle them all in the air? Or do you do something in between? (fiction/nonfiction)

First of all, before we go any further, it’s crucial that you understand that not all writers are the same. If you are frustrated because you’re trying to create in the same way as another writer and it isn’t happening, then check out this great article, Ten myths about learning to write. We are not all cut out of the same mold.

If you are a one-two-three kind of writer who likes all your ducks in a row, then I’m a bit jealous. I’m not like that at all, unless I’m working for someone else. Then the one-two-three thing works just fine. But when I’m creating a big project, it totally hangs me up.

There are plenty of books and web sites dealing with the ducks-in-a-row concept. Most of them offer really good advice. Outlines, backstory, character studies, plotting devices…there’s a ton of stuff. Here are just a few good ones:

  • Dramatica
  • is a series of software products for writers and a relatively unique perspective of how stories work. A lot of popular authors swear by this stuff. You may find it helpful too.

  • Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake design
  • for writing a novel.

  • Outlining Techniques.

  • Plot Versus Character, Part 1,
  • by Melanie Spiller

  • Plot Versus Character, Part 2,
  • by Melanie Spiller

  • Story,
  • by Robert McKee.

    I’ve tried them all on both my students and myself. Some of my students thrive very well with it. Others, like me, spend so much time filling out all the sheets and working with the devices that we never get to the story, or by the time we get to the story, we’re either totally bored with it or totally confused. Either is pure death.

    One of my most exciting days as a writer was reading Steven King’s, , On Writing, and discovering that he doesn’t like to outline. He simply unearth’s the story one bone at a time. I like that!

    So, check back tomorrow, and I’ll post some ideas on how to go about unearthing that dinosaur!


    At 4:16 AM, Blogger Mike Duran said...

    I despise seat-of-the-pants writing. But I usually get stuck working on multiple projects -- fiction and non-fiction. Maybe it's because I have a job that writing plays second fiddle to. Alas, in an ideal world I'd have all my ducks in a row. Thanks Sandy!

    At 5:50 PM, Blogger kc said...

    Hi Sandy! I tried following the link to the plot outline url, but it didn't work. Could you e-mail it to me? Thanks!



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