The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Busy day. No writing yet but I still plan to get some in somehow. Met with writer friends in person and discussed WIPs; it seems several of us are working through similar problems about how to deal with structure and pacing. Sometimes my mind latches onto an interesting problem about somebody else's WIP and does not want to let go; this is good as long as the other person wants to keep hashing it out, but not so good if they want to drop it but are too polite to say so.

A lot of the time it's much easier to look at somebody else's WIP in a big-picture way than my own because I haven't been immersed in their WIP 24/7 so that trees and forest are all melted together in one big indistinguishable lump. And I don't have that feeling with other people's WIPs that I get with my own, like "God, here's another thing I have to try that probably won't work any more than the other ten billion things I already tried that sucked, but I have to give it a go anyway because there's a possibility it really might be the one thing that does work, or at least gives me a push in the direction of the one thing that really does work." With other people's WIPs, it's all of the interesting stuff and none of the drudge and toil and backtracking and frustration.

One WF, an accomplished author/illustrator, is embarking on a first novel. That means this WF has no idea what his/her process is. Could be outlining and writing in order, could be leaping around, could be plot-driven or character-driven or theme-driven. Process is a very individual thing, I think, and the only way to find out what yours is is to feel it out as you're working. But I do wonder, can you change your own process? I've heard of people doing that, to greater or lesser extents. I want to be able to write a plot, so I'm wondering if there's some hybrid way to pull two processes together; like I can't outline to save my life, but here I've got this story I want to tell that's dead on the page because I'm not doing my usual process. There must be some way to use my strengths but with a slightly different approach. I just don't know what that approach is.

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