A few weeks ago, I bought On Writing by Mr Stephen King.
Stephen is not an author I put much stock in before now; I have read a couple of his books, but I’ve not been blow away as I have been with other authors in the same genre. However… I’ll have to rethink my original thoughts of Mr King, because On Writing is a brilliant book. Brilliant!
Admittedly, a lot of what he says is stuff I know – much love and thanks to the Phoenix Writers for that – but it’s comforting to see it repeated by such a well known and respected name. Reading it on other blogs, and talking about it during groups is great and as a result I’ve been able to apply the same ‘rules’ and ‘methods’ to my writing. As a result I’ve seen my writing style and voice blossom and evolve in ways I would have never thought possible when I first picked up a pen to scribble down stories at 14 years old.
So, what’s the point?
Well, with Slippers & Chains well and truly under way (in terms of sharing it with the public) I need a new project. I have decided to shelve SORB for a little bit longer (yes! Yes I know, it is a bit deal, but I’ll talk about that in a minute), so I need something new. Something fresh.
Looking at some of my earlier posts about writing and my plans, I have already had to make changes to the ‘release an ebook by July’ plan. Since… it IS July now and I’m still not quite ready. Slippers & Chains is the project that is going to end up as an ebook, and that should be by the end of the year, or early next year (subject to change :p).
In light of this I’m looking into short stories. And this is where the New Method comes in (wooo, and we’ve come full circle and [finally] round to the point). Stephen King, from what I understand of ‘On Writing,’ approaches his stories the same way I do; with a question or a single idea. He then sits down, starts writing and sees where he ends up at the end.
This method has worked brilliantly for me in the past, but it does lead to long periods of editing and stretches of ‘writer’s block’ in which I flit about like a butterfly with half a wing missing because I don’t know what I’m doing. I like this method because of the freedom it gives me, but I won’t grow without testing myself and stretching myself and stepping out of my comfort zone, as it is so often said.
So I wanted to try planning something for once. Properly. With little cards and notes and a plan with regards to plot arc and tension peaks and growing threat and blah, blah blah. I want to know, before I start writing, where my story is going to end. Exactly. And I want to see how this feels compared to winging it and flying by the flaming seat of my spotty blue pants.
I haven’t decided exactly what to do yet. I’m still tweaking Slippers & Chains and SORB is far too well established (and close to my heart) to tinker with. I need something totally new, fresh, untouched and clean.
When I figure out what that is, I’ll let you know. o.O
How do you guys write? Are you seat-of-the-pants kinda people, or meticulously-planning-of-every-word-and-scene sort of folks? What works best for you?