Sunday, 29 November 2009

What kind of writer are you?

OK - my hands are up - I admit it: I'm a research-geek kind of writer

I put the plan in planning:
1 plan to write - time allocated
2 plan the characters and setting - create photo wall and pen sketches in the working note book
3 plan the 14 to 20 chapters that will give me the story arc - depending on length/ target audience
4 plan the main events in bullet format - whole book (any sequal type information that occurs to me as I go along)

While I write? I have a card index for each character mentioned (main to merely visiting) which I add to while I'm going along. I hate continuity errors in things I read, see or (heaven forbid) write.

Name drop moment - an-author-of-my-acquaintance laughed at me (Thanks, Steve Feasey)

He inspired me to attempt to work slightly more off-the-cuff. I was light-headed at the thought; the desk I work at was less heavily ladened too.

Enter NaNoWriMo Challenge


I planned my character profiles - making sure I knew them from head to toe and inside out (including their preferred underware!)

Then I planned the start, middle and end - the desired outcomes for the book.

To increase my writer-ly skills (:-)) I decided to experiment with POV. While writing the book I alternated, one chapter at a time, writing from JJ's (public school boy)and Nerysa's (ex-navy SEAL, bodyguard) perspective.


Spending November writing from different points of view should help me write the complicated multi-layers of the non-ghost story I have planned. Adding space and time into the mix --- challenge much! Imagine how that looks in my planning format :)


  1. Yikes! I'm a little intimidated now :)

    I don't do a lot of outlining - I'm too global of a thinker. I have a final scene in my head, but my characters head all over the place before they get there!

  2. 1. Get story idea and percolate it in head for days.

    2. Sit down at computer and actually open a blank document.

    3. Write the first word, first sentence, first paragraph.

    4. Treat self with a snack.

    5. Sit back down and continue until the basic concept is in place and I can pick right up again the next session.

    Lately all I've been writing is short stories because my first novel is ready for query, and the other two in the series are in revision. It's hard to work on the other two now, so short stories are it.

    I think I spend more time in revision - developing the characters and plot, setting and descriptions - than I do in actual writing the story. It just flows.

    I do have a quirk though. I almost always know how the story will end, so it just a matter of getting there.

    Elaine you're so organized! I've tried working that way - especially during the trilogy writing - but I'm just not that disciplined. I'd love to be at least a little more organized though, might make the revision easier if I didn't have to research my own novel to find something relevant later.

    And I do put in days and weeks worth of research on things I don't know about. I think I spent about 3 months collecting 9/11 material for the third novel. That was really a lot of fun actually. I too am a research fanatic.


  3. Jemi
    The freedom of wandering through your landscape with your characters sounds fun too.

  4. Donna
    I'm impressed that you wrote your whole trilogy - go you!

    I have two diaries where I log the thoughts that go alongside Jess and Caleb's lives - it's their diary really. The note book I'm on at the moment would translate to book three. I saw their make up today - all I need to decide is if 1st December would be too early.

    I won't even write a five minute haiku without researching key words or phrases :)

    I love the writing communities I have been lucky to find here in the Blog-o-sphere - I learn so much. The Blogs direct and hone my thinking. :)

  5. Your process is crazy organized compared to mine. I don't even have outlines... I just sort of sit down and start writing. For some of them I have written out the synopsis first, particularly the mystery I'm working on. That way I have the middle and ending written down. After that, it's a free for all!

    I can't imagine having that level of organization. Maybe my stories might make sense to someone other than me if I did.


  6. I'm a weird combo of organized chaos. I usually write out a one page outline with broad strokes of characters and conflicts. Then I start writing. If there is mythology involved, I research as I go along. I have trouble doing much more detail than that because ideas come to me as I'm writing much easier than in the pre-planning stage.

  7. Ah, but Elaine, it was a kind laugh. And I probably did it to hide the fact that my own lack of planning, plotting and design scares the daylights out of me most of the time.

    Hope the desk is still 'fairly' free of clutter though.

    Steve x