Welcome to Mechanics on Monday…
Grab your coffee, tea or your choice of caffeine, pull up a comfy seat and join me.
With this being Monday, my favorite weekday, it marks the beginning of a seven day journey to see what we can accomplish. And for me, beginnings are always so exciting.
So now let's get down to business. How do you do it? How do you begin a story?
Have you ever taken time to contemplate your first step? Do you have a process that works best for you? Or do you just dive in and see what happens?
With my first contracted book firmly underway, it’s time to set my sites on a new adventure. I love this part of the writing process when everything is so sparkly and shiny. The possibilities are endless. And the way from A to Z has countless possibilities.
Hence the question: How do you do it?
I guess it’d depend on which camp you hang out in. Some writers call themselves a pantster and others plotters. I think most writers are a blend of varying degrees. I know I am. J
A long time ago, I started off writing as a total pantster. I followed my characters anywhere they wanted to lead me…even into brick walls. It didn’t take me too long to figure out that I’d get further along if I didn’t spend so much time bouncing off walls and taking timeouts to hunt down the aspirin for my invariable headache. LOL.
And I began creating a writing process for myself. Lots of trial and error. Eventually I found that my first order of business was to write a short synopsis and character background. I find it so much easier to write the broad strokes of a story before I get mired in the intriguing details of the story. Not saying it’s easy to pull a beginning-to-end synopsis out of thin air, but in my case, it’s worth the effort.
From there I move on to a detailed outline. I tried skipping this step with a book I wrote this summer. I was in a hurry and I figured I had the synopsis so how hard could it be. I did okay for a while, but I noticed my pace kept slowing every day until I hit that blasted brick wall again. I knew this wall. I’d definitely been here before.
So much for deviating from my process. I was paying the price.
Only this time I knew the solution. I had to back up and get with my process. I took a time out from staring at my stalled out draft and outlined the ending of my story. From there, my fingers had a hard time keeping up with my mind. And in no time I was typing “The End.”
Now don’t get me wrong, when I write the actual story, my H/h will take detours from my outline/synopsis, but it’s an easy fix to go back and update the synopsis. In fact, my synopsis gets lots of updating, but the basic structure pretty much stays the same.
Everyone’s process is different. And I’d love to hear about yours. As no process is set in stone, it evolves as the writer evolves. And I’m always on the lookout for something to add, tweak or change in my process.
So how do you do it? How do you get from the beginning to end?