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Writing the Right Way
To plot or not to plot. That is but one of the questions that plagues many a writer, particularly those who are just starting out. Well, relax. Because, despite the fact your high-school English teacher might have tried to convince you otherwise, I’m telling you now that there is no one way of doing anything when it comes to creative writing.
Frankly, it would be a heck of a lot easier if there were just one right way. I can’t think of anything nicer than a handbook that worked across the board for all writers. Unfortunately, I can’t think of anything more boring, either.
The truth is, the path to telling a story is as diverse as writers are…and as diverse as the stories themselves. Some of us fly entirely by the seat of our pants (pantsers), having no idea where the story is going until we get there. Others plot down to the finest detail, outlining events down to each individual scene. Some create elaborate character sketches, others prefer a less formal approach. Some start with a synopsis; others need to write the story first. Is any one of these approaches the single “right” way to write? Only for the individual author who uses it…and maybe not always.
The process of crafting a story is a fluid, ever-evolving thing. What works for one story (or ten) may not work for the next. Issues crop up (stubbornly uncommunicative characters, plotlines wandering off track) that require fresh solutions, and the wise writer is one who remains open to learning new skills and trying new approaches. Trust me, it saves a lot of headaches when you quit beating yourself senseless against that proverbial brick wall!
So whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been at this a while, do talk to other writers to see how they handle the storytelling process, but don’t try to fit yourself to their mould. Instead, take what works for you and craft your own approach. Be prepared to abandon things that don’t work, and always be on the lookout for ideas that do. Learn, evolve, and always remain true to your own unique voice.
Gwyn Jacobs doesn’t believe in happy-ever-after.
Ever since her ex-husband walked out four years ago, abandoning her with a toddler and infant twins, Gwyn has been mother, father, and bread-winner all rolled into one. Her own scarred heart and failed marriage aside, she is determined not to open up her children’s lives to the possibility of another heartbreak...until her very own fairy tale falls into her lap -- and the hero won’t take no for an answer!