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I am an obsessive-compulsive planner when I write. I plan out the chapters from beginning to end, decide the threads and imagery that will run through the story, and sketch drawings of objects in the story. Then when I start writing, I FLY!

Here's the funny part...even though I like to see where I'm going (literally...road maps!), I truly relish when a scene just "happens" and I'm surprised by my character's actions or a twist in the plot. So there I am, sitting and typing away madly and then suddenly I say, "Hey! Where'd that come from?" Knowing that the answer is, "Ummm, well, actually from you, silly..." I just can't help but laugh aloud.

So what is that called?
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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 13th, 2009 03:32 am (UTC)
Anne Lamott says it comes from "the Dr. Seuss-like character in the basement" who hands ideas up to us. You've read BIRD BY BIRD, right? If you haven't, tell me & I'm bringing it to you.

I am going back to page proofs now. Really.
Feb. 14th, 2009 11:14 pm (UTC)
I have not read BIRD BY BIRD...but I would love to borrow your copy. I think I'll go try to draw what my Dr. Seuss-like character would look like!

Good luck with the page proofs...
: )
Feb. 13th, 2009 01:13 pm (UTC)
I think it may be called inspiration. I love that when it happens.
Feb. 14th, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC)
I think you have something there! I love those little epiphanies...although they have caused some consternations with my story lines sometimes. haha
Feb. 13th, 2009 02:58 pm (UTC)
I have tried planning and outlining, and it gets me nowhere, so my entire process consists of being surprised this way. It's nice to know that the planners of this world get an occasional taste of my approach, just as I sometimes have to borrow theirs and stop to chart out a complicated scene.
Feb. 14th, 2009 11:11 pm (UTC)
How interesting! Isn't it wonderful that there are so many different ways to give a story a voice?
Here's a question for you: What are two of your favorite editing techniques? (That's where I'm at right now.)
Feb. 15th, 2009 12:52 am (UTC)
Hmm, I'm not sure I have anything so organized as editing "techniques." But since you ask, here are two things I do on rewrites (which will probably not apply to you at all, since you do so much pre-planning): one is taking each character and going through the whole manuscript, just reading that character's bits, to make sure it's consistent and makes sense and has its own arc. The other is taking a good hard look at every one of my POV character's emotions and reactions. I have a weird tendency to underwrite the first time through, and revision tends to show me places where there should have been DRAMA. So I guess you could say I look for missed opportunities and places that need to be deeper.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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