Sunday, September 2, 2012

How Do You Write?

How Do You Write?

By: William G. Muir
     Just a quick question, something that I am curious about at the moment. How do write? I know  Michala and I take a very different approach to this. Or at least we have so far with this book. For Michala she likes to have an outline planned out before she starts typing away on a chapter. For her it is a road map, a way from getting from point A to point B. But she will take an alternate route if something interesting comes along. (Those are her favorites too!)

     As for me, I like to to have one or two bullet points in mind when I sit down to write. For me it is just like deciding to hop into a car with no plans. I may have a destination in mind but the route is totally spontaneous. It is the journey that I find to be the most pleasurable part of the trip, not so much the destination. I want to stop and see all the local roadside attractions. I want to drink in the local flavor.

     Not to say that I do not ever work off an outline. There has been a chapter here or there that I have sat down and mapped out the course. But that usually only occurs when I have more than a few preset notions in mind before I set out to write. But for the most part I am pretty much 'lets see what happens when I pound the keyboard' kind of writer. But then again I am pretty much like this in life as well. I always have difficulty answering whenever someone ask me what it is I see myself doing in 5 or 10 years time. I'm not even sure what I am going to do in the next 10 seconds, I have no idea what I am going to type in the next sentence. How can I possible know what it is I want to do 5 or 10 years from now.

     Even though we might approach the writing of this book in different ways. One thing Michala and I can agree on is that when we sit down to write it, is the characters that dictate the action. We might think we know what it is that we would like to accomplish when we set out to write the next chapter, but it is the characters that are really in charge. Every time they just take hold of the action and lead us where it is they wish to go. I have lost count of how many times this had happened. But I do not mind in the slightest. It makes for a much more enjoyable experience. Plus it allows me to get another chapter in that I had not been planning on.

     One thing I have to say before I wrap this post up is that I have greatly enjoyed working with Michala. In the short few months that we have known each other we have grown to be good friends. We spend most of a day sending messages back and forth. Most of them having to deal with the book. But others are just goofy things, things that make each other laugh. But the best part is when we are brainstorming ideas for a chapter. Whenever one of us is stumped on how we are going to proceed,the other one is there to lend a hand. We just toss ideas out at each other until we hit upon something that we might work. I find it opens doors that I would have never even thought to look behind.

     Well that is all for me. I will see all you crazy kids another time.  

1 comment:

  1. I prefer to write without detailed outlines or plans. I'm also a worrier. If I think too much about what I'm going to write and whether it sounds good enough when I get it onto the page, it really hinders my ability to produce anything that sounds natural, anything that actually has a voice. So I prefer to just get it all out onto the page, all the 'junk' and all the gems together, and then work on vigorous editing afterward.
    Btw, I learned this from "Writing without Teachers" by Peter Elbow