Thursday, January 3, 2008

DeLyn Reveals Her Process

One of the most commonly asked questions of authors (any genre) is, "What's your process? How do you write a book?" And while most authors (who are creative, free-spirits by nature) will give you a different answer each time you ask the question, most fit into one of two categories: plotters or seat-of-the-pantsers.

I've heard these terms mentioned often at various workshops, critique group meetings, and writers group meetings, but I was first introduced to the concept by Harlequin author, Kara Lennox, when she visited my writers group in Longview, Texas.For those of you who don't know, here's a breakdown.

PLOTTERS: These are the writers who painstakingly research, pre-write, characterize, summarize, layout, and rough draft...before doing any actual writing. They have the novel so meticulously laid out that all they have to do is turn their notes into actual sentences, with periods.

SEAT-OF-THE-PANTSERS: These are the writers who just sit down and write. They don't know who their characters are, what they are doing, what they are about to do. They just listen to the voices in their heads and run with it.

I would like to say to that I fit neatly into one of those categories, but I'm a Pisces. I'm fluid. Sometimes I'm a plotter. Sometimes I'm a seat-of-the-pantser. But things effect me. Depending on the season, the weather, the alignment of the planets, what kind of soup is on the menu, or how much laundry I have to do, I'm one of those writers who will give you give you a different answer every time you ask me the question.

The only thing I know is that neither way is right. Most successful writers (those with larger bank accounts than mine) will tell you to just write. That's not to say they are seat-of-the-pantsers. This stems from the saying, "I can fix a bad page, but not a blank one." Whether you are plotting or writing, just do something!

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