What kind of writer are you? Do you outline methodically or scribble down rough notes? Do you plot or see where the writing takes you? Do you carry a notebook everywhere or do you scribble on whatever’s at hand? Do you write scenes and piece them together later, or are you a start-to-finish writer?
These are questions I’ve asked authors I’ve interviewed for Stories on Stage or Write Note Reviews, and it’s only now that I’m asking them of myself. I’m learning so much about how I write every day. When I was working as a journalist, I’d take notes, type them up as dot points, and then work them into sentences. The order, or the inverted pyramid structure that would prioritise the points, would emerge organically. Sometimes, especially with profiles of people, I’d have a clear idea of my ‘lead’ before I started the story.
Creative writing is different … and not different at the same time. I’ve started using Scrivener and I’m liking the way I can write separate scenes, and move them around as I see fit. I’ve learned that while I like to have some idea of where I’m going, I’m not a full-on plotter. So, I write notes and ideas, but don’t outline everything in advance. Perhaps that will evolve. For now, I’m writing more ‘organically’, as two of my writer friends put it. It works for me.
Editing the Rocky Romance collection has taken up a fair bit of my writing time lately, but now that it’s at proof stage, I’ve turned back to my novel. My lovely critique partner Maureen is the only other person apart from Blue Eyes to have read the first few chapters. You can imagine how good it felt when I got this feedback last week: “I found the two chapters I read to be polished and professional, while incredibly compelling. I am genuinely interested in the fate of your characters already, and feel confident the rest of the story will unfold exactly as it should.” It was just the encouragement I needed.
Before I get back to writing, here are a few photos from my last two weeks.