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Sunday, 4 September 2011

SEERS : My Writing Process


My Writing Process

Every writer has a different approach to writing. After all, it's not an exact science with specific rules. But since it's not a bunch of unpredictable mumbo-jumbo either, I'm going to attempt to outline my own writing process in the hopes that you'll find something helpful.

I've been writing for a long time—almost my whole life. Obviously I've improved over the years, and I've learned a thing or two about approaching a possible story idea. My writing process is not as structured as some, but it works for me and perhaps you'll find something that works for you. I truly believe that every person who has ever lived, or ever will live, has a story to tell. Whether it's the story of their own life, or one of complete fabrication, there is a story inside of everyone.

Step One: Embracing The Story In You. I've spoken to aspiring authors about this idea before, and I still believe that it is a vital step to story writing. This step is all about mulling over the stories you love best. What elements intrigue you? What genre? Once you establish the type of story you love best—romance, mystery, science fiction, fantasy—you can focus in on the essential elements that type of story needs. For example, a mystery novel needs a mystery to solve, and someone to solve it. There are, of course, universal elements for storytelling, but each genre has different areas of emphasis. After all, a science fiction novel can have romance and mystery, but those aspects are generally secondary to the main plot.

Once you've figured out what genre you're interested in, you can look around for the other elements your story needs. Watch a movie, read a book—explore different character dynamics, relationships, and situations you like. Does a kidnapping tickle your fancy? A princess that dresses up like a man to follow her dreams? A hero that learns his father is actually the evil villain? Find those things that you love in a story, and make them your own. Start to write these musings down, and you've already begun the pre-writing for your book.

Step Two: Character And Plot Development. All the best stories have good, strong characters. Your characters need to be easy to relate to, and even if they're not lovable, there has to be a complexity that draws the reader in. The more complex you can make your character, the more real he or she will become to the reader. For me, characters are the life of the story. Your plot might be amazing, but if the reader can't stand your characters, your book isn't going to make it. Figure out everything you can about your character. The basics like hair color, birthday, likes and dislikes, but try to think out of the box, too. What is your character's favorite childhood memory? What would be your character's favorite book? In a paragraph, have your character describe himself or herself. Even though a lot of this information won't find its way into your book, it's good for you to know.

Laying out a basic plot is a terrific starting place. Establish who the characters are. What's the conflict they face? Where does your story really begin? Where are your characters by the middle of the story? What is the end result? Things like the hero's journey come in real handy when you're laying all of this out. Now, I'm going to let you into a little secret of mine. I'm the sort of writer that relies thoroughly on my characters. Once I've got a skeleton plot all ready, I start writing and let my characters take over on the dialogue, and they are often the ones that get me into exciting situations. While I may implement a lot of the twists, my characters can take the credit for quite a few that end up surfacing.

Step Three: Just Start Writing. It may seem like a no-brainer, or maybe just the opposite. Maybe the thought of actually typing out Chapter One makes it seem too real and frightening. But beginning to write your book is the only way you'll ever get it done. And though it can be the most maddening step, it is also the most rewarding. Writers block and all.

Step Four: Revise, Revise, And Revise Again. You'll soon discover that with writing, nothing is very perfect. Every time you read over that paragraph, you'll find something to tweak — even if it's just the order of a couple words. Every chapter will have something you could add, and every snippet of dialogue could use a little tweaking. Sometimes its hard to know when to call the project finished, but this will become the step that never ends unless you do.

After you've declared your work polished and done, you are ready to share with others. Family, friends, agents, editors — take your pick, or send it off to all four. There are, after all, many roads to publication. The important thing is to pick one and start walking with your book tucked firmly under your arm, and your head held high. Because everyone has a right to storytelling, and you've done just that. The writing process certainly varies from person to person, but storytelling will always remain a universal act.
Heather can be found here:
www.heatherfrost.com
GoodReads

Seers by Heather Frost
About Seers:
For Kate Bennet, surviving the car wreck that killed her parents means big changes -- and even bigger problems. As she begins to see auras and invisible people, Kate must learn to trust Patrick O'Donnell, a handsome Guardian, or risk her life being overrun with Demons. She soon realizes that both she and her heart are in big-time trouble.
Source: Info in the About Seers was taken from the book's website at http://seersthebook.com/ on 18/07/2011.

3 comments:

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Revisions sounds so tough. Great post.

Cherry said...

Thank you for visiting Heather!! :)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com - Yeah, "revision" sounds like another word for "torture"... I'm pretty sure some dictionary said so ;)

Heather said...

Thanks for having me, Cherry! :)

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