Monday, July 14, 2008

Writing it to Bits

I discovered something about myself today. I am an organized writer. You'd think after having finished two books and starting many others I would have realized that about myself already, but in the past I'd just pray for inspiration and go with whatever worked. I'm still praying for inspiration, but am finally noticing trends that work well for me, and one of those is to break the big pieces of a book into smaller and smaller bits that are manageable. The trick then is to put them back together in a beautiful, understandable whole.

It's a lot like creating a mosaic or stained glass. You break or cut the whole into bits, then piece them back together in a pattern that is even more beautiful than it was to begin with. So, that's what I'm trying to do today. I'm planning my pattern and breaking glass by creating an outline, dividing the book into parts, and within each part, chapters. After that I'll begin piecing it together by creating a synopsis of each chapter before I finally sit down to actually write the first draft. I'm not one of those who can sit and come up with the pattern as I go. I have to have some direction ahead of time, and I create that with this formula of mine. I guess I tend toward the one draft side of things, with lots and lots of planning in advance.

I'm finding it's much easier to repeat the action of writing a book when I understand my process, rather than having to figure it out again each time. It will save a lot of time and hassle in the future, I think. So best of luck to all of you with your writing endeavors. As for me? I'm off to start piecing together a story that will hopefully be as beautiful as the picture above when I'm finished with it.

Quote of the Day: "Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn't matter. I'm not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn't make us better, then what on earth is it for."
~ Alice Walker


Jennifer said...

I think I need to be more organized with my writing. Right now, I'm flying by the seat of my pants a little bit. Maybe I'll try outlining and breaking it down a bit.

Lu Ann said...

My writing is usually organized. It's my desk that could use a little help! Piles of manuscripts here, books to review there, and cords and wires everywhere. I think I'll use your idea and see if I can find the top of my printer! Thanks for the reminder.

Marta O. Smith said...

Karen, you are such a talented writer that you make even outlining sound enchanting!