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A new feature on Future Imperfect for you! Have you ever wondered how exactly an author creates their work? Whether you’re a voracious reader or a fledgling author, here is the place to ask me (“The Author”) any question you want and I’ll answer with what works for me or what I’ve learned along my way!

Don’t be shy just ask away and I’ll try to respond as soon as possible! This is intended for both discussion and a bit of fun too!

7 Comments

  1. Are you a “plotter” or a “pantster?” In other words, do you outline your books or write by the seat of your pants?
    (FYI: I found your blog through LInkedIn’s “Book Marketing / Do you have a blog?” group.

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  2. A little of both. It’s a double rainbow format. The large top rainbow is the major overall story and theme (if you have one) and takes you from point A (story beginning) at the beginning of the rainbow to the top of it, point B (the dreaded middle) and to point C (the ending). The under rainbow is the action/plot/details of how the top rainbow gets done or accomplished. So what I’m saying is that I have a general idea of the story (always subject to change) as a plotter and then I write the details/plot//action as a pantser. Does that make sense?

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  3. A little of both also, probably more of a pantster – perhaps I should re-think it. I tend to frame the general outline and the story seems to flow from that point. That method does have two sides; it lends itself to thinking out of the box, but it can also block my writing if I’m not feeling very creative.

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  4. I usually have plane of where I want go, but the hard part is writing how the characters get there, and the story changes as it grows. I end up adding to many unneeded details and then adding story to make the details relevant. What I feel I should start doing is writing in episodes, so that the main plot doesn’t hold me back, but the main plot holds the stories together. I hope that will make the writing more enjoyable. The book moves to slow in-between the action, and that is not good.

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  5. jl,
    First, thank you so much for commenting! I appreciate it so so much!
    You might be making it more difficult on yourself by doing it kind of backwards. You should be writing with the details and then removing or enhancing them after the story is finished. You need to edit them out rather than adapting or forcing the story to work toward the details. If writing in episodes or scenes helps you then by all means do it. Personally it throws me off but I write linear–I start at the beginning and write straight through to the end. I’ve written scenes separately but it ruined my stories. Also are you talking your stories are slow between scenes or just the dreaded “sagging middle” that everyone experiences at some point?
    And, don’t be afraid of letting the story run its course if it needs to; I find that something I wrote on the first page becomes pivotal the the plot later on–this is also called “pantsing” (writing by the seat of your pants, lol). You may need to plot out your story ahead of time to keep it on track and do not be afraid of that either! Many many authors do it so don’t feel you’re on your own or that it isn’t creative. It IS. You could write down plot of the story overall and then write the steps the character(s) need to take to get there. Giving the characters agendas also helps plotting: Character A wants his goal at the end of the story and takes steps to get there; Character B wants the same thing for different reasons and takes his own steps to get there. Those steps are the plot. Whether you write them first or during the story doesn’t matter, just whatever works for you!
    Again, thanks so much for commenting!

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  6. What do you think about the concept of collaborative world-building and what some of its pitfalls could be?

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    • Callum (great name by the way!),

      I usually shy away from anything that is “collaborative” especially in creative efforts. Why? The issue of rights and royalties ALWAYS comes up regardless the amount of assurances that it won’t. How do I know this? My relatives worked in music publishing for decades dealing with just this subject on the rights of major songwriters. Believe me bands have turned viciously on each other where royalties are concerned even though they were best of friends or believed that it could never happen. Another pitfall is the possibility of someone else taking your character, world, etc., in an unforeseen and disturbing direction even if it is not negative. You’ve opened your creative genesis to others and have to be prepared for someone to direct its course somewhere else than you want it that you don’t for whatever reasons. Most people think they can do this but it is in my opinion, most of the time they cannot, hence lawsuits everywhere. And I don’t think you can pre-stipulate what can or cannot be done with your world since no one can predict the creative direction of anyone else or even themselves. Even if you try to state what can or cannot be done, people differ so much in their creativity that I think it would be virtually worthless to try to do so. The only person I collaborate with is my sister and sometimes co-author and even we differ greatly and loudly on direction in our books. It can be done such as Stephen King and Peter Straub but again that is only two creative minds not an endless stream of them. I’m sure there are many more reasons to avoid collaborative world building just as I am sure there are many, many reasons for it. Those are the biggest reasons for me. I hope I addressed your question and not misread it! I do thank you and apologize for the delay in response I was dealing with health issues.

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