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Your Strategy to Write Novel? : Conversation question • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Your Strategy to Write Novel?

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
ridho1234
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Your Strategy to Write Novel?

Postby ridho1234 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:57 pm


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shadowwalker
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Re: Your Strategy to Write Novel?

Postby shadowwalker » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:17 pm

I'm also a 'pantser' but my stories don't wander. I don't let them. ;)
"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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MookyMcD
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Re: Your Strategy to Write Novel?

Postby MookyMcD » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:49 pm

Doctorow doesn't believe in outlines, Joseph Heller's outlines are things of beauty in themselves. Heller wouldn't have written as well if he eschewed his outline, and I doubt Doctorow would write better with one.

Find what works best for you and do it.

cynfranks
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Re: Your Strategy to Write Novel?

Postby cynfranks » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:06 am

I'm a pantser. Usually a confluence of things from my daily life will culminate in an image and that image will inspire a journey. I've written many plays, short-stories and articles and I use the same process.

I write 2,000 to 3,000 words a day, no editing, until I feel the story is finished. Then I let it set and start re-writing. I love re-writing; hate writing first drafts.
Ask yourself, "What would Dickens do?"



James A. Ritchie
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Re: Your Strategy to Write Novel?

Postby James A. Ritchie » Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:29 pm

I'm a panster. I'm not sure how I feel about "wandering". I guess I believe that wandering is the whole point of writing without an outline. If wandering bothers you, you're probably outlining in your head, if not on paper, else how would you know the story is wandering?

I don't care in the least where the story goes, I'm concerned only with where it's been. If I worried at all about where it's going, I'd outline the thing and be done with it.

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shadowwalker
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Re: Your Strategy to Write Novel?

Postby shadowwalker » Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:24 pm

Not sure if this is what the OP meant, but when I say "wandering", I mean going off on tangents, following those "bright shiny objects" that make the story lose its way. Basically, I consider whether the new idea can work with what's happened already. That's not 'outlining in my head' - that's just thinking.
"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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Brien Sz
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Re: Your Strategy to Write Novel?

Postby Brien Sz » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:48 am

I don't outline. However, that doesn't mean I don't have a general idea of what I want to write. I look at the first draft as my outline. I rarely drift off into tangents but I sometimes develop elements that later don't survive the second edit or third or fourth (you get the idea). I also may add where parts feel thin. Overall, I trim the word count down pretty extensively from first draft to final copy, though I have found that the more I write, the less I am doing this. When I sit to write a novel now, I strive for 10,000 words a week. Many times I exceed this. I make a goal of finishing off a first draft in 8 to 10 weeks.

James A. Ritchie
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Re: Your Strategy to Write Novel?

Postby James A. Ritchie » Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:35 pm


cynfranks
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Re: Your Strategy to Write Novel?

Postby cynfranks » Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:10 pm

Ask yourself, "What would Dickens do?"



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shadowwalker
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Re: Your Strategy to Write Novel?

Postby shadowwalker » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:07 am

"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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