Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tip Tuesday: Almost W

Okay, so you've done your reading (or reading-cubed, if we're going by the formula I made up for the purposes of this series), and so we have to move on to the "W."

The "W" is obviously for writing. And so, based on this formula, it would seem that as soon as you're done doing your "Rs," it's time to dive right into the writing.

Except . . . well, not quite.

See, here's the thing. Before you do any writing, you should really do some pre-writing.

Now you might think that this is the outliner, plot-firster in me talking. Someone who plots out pretty much every move in advance is naturally going to do a lot of groundwork before he or she starts writing. But even if you're a seat-of-the-pants type of writer, even if you're a character-first writer, you're going to want to do some work in advance.

For me, the advance work is (once again) based on Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake Method. Except I don't make it through all ten steps. I usually get about two-thirds of the way in and I hit what I like to call "critical mass" and I have to start writing right now.

If you're a character-firster, maybe you could spend some time writing journal entries in the voice of your characters.

If you're a pantser . . . well, I'm not sure what to tell you.

Whatever the case, doing that work up front, whether it's world building, practicing your characters' voices or sussing out their backstory, is time well spent, because it means when it comes time to actually do the writing, you can focus on that.

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