About to begin a new project and trying to decide which method will give the best chance of writing success. I’m a pantser by nature but, over the last year of so, I’ve been trying to incorporate an element of planning into my work. I’ve now gotten to the stage of always having an outline plan before starting to write. It’s helpful when I get lost in plot detail, or when I’ve forgotten which character said what to whom.
Most writers these days seem to follow: ‘ Write What You Love’, not what you know. I know about cooking, being a Mommy, renovating old houses, media and travel. These are themes which often appear in my writing. But what I ‘love’ is a tricksier question.
I love danger, suspense, conflict, deceit, betrayal, all the elements contained in a good thriller. I also love the good woman winning in the final few pages, or the good guy: I cheer on both heroes and heroines. I also love a bitter-sweet ending, one where the good protagonist wins through against adversity, but has to pay a helluva price to do so. I’m not against a bit of romance, but, for me, it shouldn’t be the be-all-and-end-all. These are the kind of story ingredients which stay with me and work their magic within my subconscious when writing new work.
What about you? What do you think makes a writer? Maybe you’re into memoir? It’s having a renaissance right now, everyone I know in writing circles seems to be currently working on memoir or family sagas. I’m guessing age is a factor here, Rom-Com and Steamy Sex belong to younger years. Once the kids are old enough to entertain themselves, without major risk, the notion of taking a stroll through Grandma’s photo album seems to appeal. I’m not there, yet. There’s still enough going on in the here-and-now to grab my attention and interest.
I’m practising, at the moment, little pieces of flash and short stories to get my writing muscles ready for the big task ahead. Notebooks are half-filled with scraps of this and that, character profiles are half-done, the setting is yet to be decided on. The only think I’m sure of is the theme and hopefully, that won’t change.
But you’ll know, as a writer, you can never say never. Not ever.