Hello lovelies, and welcome back to the blog. Today I want to take some time to talk about how authors get their books written.
Do you have a way that you like to write your books? What I mean by this is a process of getting the words down on the page?
There are plenty of other steps to getting a book written, but to generalize, there are three elements that go into drafting any piece of work. To clarify, I’m just talking about the drafting portion where you are actually trying to write this darn thing. These three elements are the time story and direction that any writer decides to write their novel. Let’s talk about each of these in a little more detail.
Slow and Steady
If you live and die by the idea that you have to write every day, you might be someone who writes slow and steady. Slow and steady writers Will chunk out their work and try to reach a certain word or page count goal every day or every week. This type of novelist keeps a steady pace, pushing forward one step at a time.
A binge writer is an author who indulges in writing for a brief period of time. Often followed by extended periods of an absence of writing. Writing advice usually condemns this style of productivity, because the science usually says that slow and steady wins the race. Yet is this not what we do every November when NaNoWriMo hits or take a 10K in a day challenge? We are trying to increase normal output in a very short burst.
Binge writing is perfect for people who have schedules that do not allow for a lot of downtime such as teachers and students. They get all of their writing done in chunks throughout the year as their schedule allows.
If you’re an author who writes only when the muse strikes you, then you might be an intermittent author. Many authors of poetry write feverishly in the moment of inspiration and create astounding works that are often incredibly raw and heartfelt. This type of writer can go weeks without writing anything and then create a ton of good work or one very important piece in the blink of an eye.
If you tend to start at the beginning of your story and right through all the way to the end without skipping you might be a sequential or a linear writer. Linear writers can’t stand the thought of skipping a scene, of writing scenes out of order, or writing one scene that they’re excited for to keep the momentum going. They need to go from point a to point b to point c, and all the way through to z.
Non-sequential / non-linear
Some authors put their books together piece by piece. This is very common for writers of short fiction and poetry where they make pieces that become a collection of work later on. However this can also work for people who do not like to get stuck on hard scenes, or scenes that they are not motivated to write. If you write any non-sequential way you can pick and choose which scenes you want to write on any given day. They still all need to be written however the tough scenes can wait until you have momentum built for the scenes that you wanted to write first.
If you start your story at the beginning and work your way to the end, you probably write in a forward direction meaning you build your story upward from the start brick by brick.
Another train of plot is that you start with the end or the climax in mind and you write that first and work your way back to the beginning, a literal backward motion, reaching back in time.
From the Middle
Popularized by author James Scott Bell, is his book that explains that finding the mirror moment of your novel can help to clarify the whole novel. If you write from the middle where that mirror moment happens, you can build a evenly balanced novel on both sides.
So what does this all mean? It means that I am an intermittent, linear, forward writing novelist. You are probably some combination from each of these elements as well. And when you know what kind of writer you are, you can begin to understand a lot of things about yourself. You can plan your progress more accurately and with less guess work.
Furthermore, if you don’t like the way that you write or your system is not working for you any longer, you can look at other types of writing and try them out. It may just be one element that you need to change in order to optimize your process.
Do you have a set drafting style, and how would you say it affects your writing and productivity? Have you ever wanted to try drafting your work differently and how well did it go? What is your ultimate time, story, direction combo? Let us all know in the comments below.