Thursday, July 22, 2010

What Kind of Writer Are You?

I've posted about this before, but I think it's worth repeating. Beginning writers get bombarded with materials telling them how to write – or more precisely, how not to write. The fact is, there is no perfect, magic formula that works for everyone.

Some how to authors will say it is mandatory to know the outcome of the story before beginning. They will also demand that the author outline everything. I read such an article when I was a fairly inexperienced writer. I was shocked - actually, horrified might describe it better.

I don't outline – not anything. Outlines are things English teachers demand for term papers. (I know, because I used to be an English teacher.) I outline after the paper is written – and only because it's required.

I don't know the ending of my story before I begin. I don't know the middle either. In fact, if I have a structure in mind, chances are good that the story will bog down and not go anywhere. I make notes, jot down ideas, talk about problem passages with my husband (who is not a writer, but has some good ideas) and eventually I get the story finished.

What kind of writer are you? Are the mathematically precise type who organizes, outlines, knows the entire story before you begin? Or are you an organic writer who gets an idea for a story, a starting sentence, a glimmer of a conflict and runs with it? These are the extremes, there is plenty of middle ground. Where are you?

I'd love to hear from you. Please write a comment below! ~Dellani

Dellani Oakes is an author with Second Wind Publishing. She is also a blog talk radio host for Robin Falls Kids and Red River Writers. Listen for Dellani every 1st Monday at 4:00 PM (EST) and every 4th Wednesday at 1:00 PM (EST) on Blog Talk Radio!

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