I’m a writer, not a planner

To further prove the claim that I am an unorganized writer, I offer you this.

I don’t plan.  Some would say that means I’m not a serious writer.  Oh, but I am!  An idea pops into my head and I run with it like a train with no brakes.  I start writing in frenzied hours–days–weeks long spurts.  I jot notes down on every scrap of paper I can find.  I have receipts from Target with story lines written on the back.  I have emails with snippets of dialogue in it.  I have notepads and notebooks with scenes written out mixed in with notes on Abraham Lincoln’s position on slavery during the Civil War.  Pieces of the story are every where.  Occasionally I have the foresight to compile them into my word processing software so I have what looks like a manuscript.

But, what happens to a train with no brakes?  It ends up crashing.  Yes.  That’s me.  I crash into the wall at 90 miles an hour.  After the romance of the new idea has faded, I hit the wall.  Hard.  Sometimes it takes months, even years, for me to pick up where the story left off.

That is usually where the planning comes in….often way later than it should have.  But, hey, that’s how I write.  Just to give you an example, I have been working on this one project for about three years now.  I managed to squeeze out 132 pages of story before I crashed.  I had no idea where to go next.  Then I started teaching.  That was overwhelming so nearly all writing (for creative purposes) was put away.  But here we are.  School is over and I’ve gotten my second wind.

So what was the first thing I did?  I re-read everything I’d written so far.  Then I created a board.  A story board.  The Board.  How I’d live so long without ever using this tool I know not.  It has saved me….and this story.  I wrote out everything I already knew was happening and placed it on the time line.  I created my main turning points, established the theme (one of many, but major) and then I stared at the large blank spots on my board.

Plot holes.  Ugh.

But, hey.  At least now I know where to begin.  I know what needs fixing, what needs changing, what needs writing.

As they say, better late than never, right?

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2 Responses to I’m a writer, not a planner

  1. Tim says:

    Check out snowflakemethod.com
    That’s what I used to organize and develop my books. its fantastic

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