On a panel at the Creative Ink Festival, three of us are talking about our planning processes.
The first describes himself as a “pantser”. He writes what comes next, and doesn’t worry about outlines. He knows thinks hard about his story and its turnings; he doesn’t write it all down.
The second is a “move sections around” writer, who, like Truman Capote, believes in the scissors over the pen. She writes great scenes, trusting her inner writer that they’ll fit into the plot and move it forward. Her inner writer doesn’t let her down.
I’m the third writer on the panel. I’ve tried pantsing and moving scenes around. These approaches brought me no success, because I needed to strengthen my understanding of storytelling. I read, digested, applied and analyzed everything available on narrative structure. Now, I outline everything. Story, scenes, character arcs for everybody. I do this partly because I want to go to my drafting desk ready to write, partly because I love outlining like the first Greeks loved Prometheus’s gift of fire, but mostly because the criticism that I used to get from editors was, I can’t tell what this story is about.
I gaze at the two gifted writers beside me and reflect that each of our approaches to story planning involves a confident understanding of narrative structure. What a pleasure to know that some aspects of writing come naturally to each of us, and that the rest may be learned.
I hope you’ll have another brilliant week in your writing career. Cheers Mel
From Pulp Literature Press:
If you’re a fan of Mel Anastasiou’s writing tips, you might enjoy her pocket-sized writing guide The Writer’s Boon Companion: Thirty Days Towards an Extraordinary Volume. Motivates, organizes, encourages, inspires.
From Pulp Literature Press
This week, from your Writing Muse: Your protagonist deals with setbacks in surprising, believable ways. Great character development. Your Writing Muse. @pulpliterature #amwriting
This week from @yourwritingmuse: Your protagonist deals with setbacks in surprising, believable ways. Great character development. Your Writing Muse. @pulpliterature #amwriting