By the seat of my pants!

January 21, 2015


That's how I write. Some people plan their plots and story-lines in meticulous detail. They do chapter plans, making sure each one starts with a hook and has a cliff hanger at the end. They do character analyses and keep detailed notes. They know exactly how the story is going to pan out before they've written one word.
Not me. I get a vague idea in my head, which can often start at 4 am in the morning - arguably not the best time to have ideas for novels - and simply run with it. I usually know where I want the characters to end up, but I haven't got a clue how they're going to get there. I just sit down and begin to write. The only things I need to get straight in my head before I put pen to paper, is my lead character's name and what she looks like. And, yes, it's always a 'she'.
It's ironic that on the one occasion when I actually did work my way methodically through a story-line (husband had football on the TV and I just sat there and thought until I had worked out every little detail), that's the manuscript to cause me the most grief. Admittedly, it was only the second novel I had written and neither of these first two have been published yet, but I have spent more hours than I care to count on re-writes for the darned thing. And I'm still very unhappy with it.
I wish I could do the planning bit: it would make writing so much easier, especially when I've painted my lead into a corner and can see no way to get her out! But that's not the way I work and I've accepted that. Now, where did I put that scrap of paper with my new idea on?

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