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Your Strategy to Write Novel? : Conversation question • Page 2 • 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.
James A. Ritchie
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Re: Your Strategy to Write Novel?

Postby James A. Ritchie » Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:26 am


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

Postby James A. Ritchie » Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:28 am


cynfranks
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Re: Your Strategy to Write Novel?

Postby cynfranks » Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:09 pm

Ask yourself, "What would Dickens do?"



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gesler0811
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Re: Your Strategy to Write Novel?

Postby gesler0811 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:48 am

My style fluctuates from project to project. For "Line of Sight" I created a fairly specific outline, only to find that I ended up throwing out a lot of the stuff that I used in the outline, and rewriting a lot of the scenes from scratch, or throwing them out altogether.

For the sequel, I tried "pantsing" it, to use the parlance of this particular thread, and it worked well for a while, but eventually I felt like I did not have a clear idea of where the story was going and I stopped and created some alternate outlines to explore possible outcomes. Then I resumed, using the outline I liked best as something of a guide.

For another fantasy series I've been working on (but which is on the back burner for now) I was just going with it, and loving the results. I have an outline representing how many books I thought the series would comprise, and the major events that needed to transpire in each book, but that was about it.

I find outlines helpful for chasing your thoughts and seeing where they lead. By no means do I feel enslaved to my outline, however. I reserve the right to change anything anytime. Nor do I understand people who say outlines starve creativity? Who writes the outline? Me. Using what? My mind. Who would write the story if I did not use the outline? Me. Using what? My mind. Same difference.




cynfranks
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Re: Your Strategy to Write Novel?

Postby cynfranks » Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:03 pm

Ask yourself, "What would Dickens do?"



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

Postby James A. Ritchie » Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:36 pm


TerryRodgers
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Re: Your Strategy to Write Novel?

Postby TerryRodgers » Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:43 pm

I envy the method writer or pantser. I need to outline or a hybrid of it. I work in 50 page sections. I do a paragraph of where I'm heading for each chapter (not really an outline). Once I have about 50 pages, I revise and/or edit those pages. It allows me to relive those pages and collect my thoughts for the next 50 pages. Then I outline and write the next 50 pages, edit, and repeat. When I'm done the novel, I'm still learning how to revise and edit, but I go over the novel in its entirety over 20 times. I'm hoping with experience that comes down.

Luckily for me, I don't need to carry around a notebook to jot down things. I only write when I'm sitting at my computer. From time to time, I put what's in my head into folders for future projects. I don't see myself ever complaining about writers block, maybe lazy block. As of today, I have about 20 folders for projects. Each one of those folders is a potential series. My current WIP (crime thriller) is in a folder with 15 novel titles with various notes and ideas about each one.

cynfranks
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Re: Your Strategy to Write Novel?

Postby cynfranks » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:36 pm

Ask yourself, "What would Dickens do?"



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MookyMcD
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Re: Your Strategy to Write Novel?

Postby MookyMcD » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:49 pm

Outlining and pantsing or (method writing or prospecting or whatever you want to call not following an outline) are not mutually exclusive. IMO, they are both tools in the box, and either approach may help more in some situations than the other.

cynfranks
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Re: Your Strategy to Write Novel?

Postby cynfranks » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:34 pm

Ask yourself, "What would Dickens do?"



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