Wednesday, May 7, 2008

THE ORGANIC WRITER: #1 What creature be this?

So I've figured out I'm on 'organic writer' - by that I mean that I am greatly stifled in my writing if I write outlines, notes or plans for my novel (or scenes) before starting the story.

I also realized that although I can get into (and really enjoy) outlining and/or world building when it comes time to write the words that would be read by the reader any 'pre-writing' as fun as it was to do, takes away the urge to write and the freshness of the idea.

For me this includes even notes about scenes as simple as: 'Jane meets John under troll bridge' or even 'meet troll bridge'!

So the question then becomes: "How do I plot without outlining and keep track of all the various elements in my story and my world?"

And what about other non-outliners? Do we have anything in common besides not being able to outline? Are there published authors that write this way and how do they (and therefore 'we') stay on track? Are there commonalities between how we all work? Are there tips and tricks of the trade that work specifically for organic writers?

Sometimes it's easier to figure out what 'is' if you know what 'isn't' and note that first. So here goes:

An organic writer is NOT:
  • someone who plans and plots their book out before writing it
  • someone who only writes when inspiration hits (otherwise organic writers would never get books finished, let alone published and there ARE authors out there who write without a plan - and do it well!)
  • someone who spends a lot of effort on 'world-building'
  • disorganized (well, not necessarily - people will be people though)
  • someone who summarizes their scenes before writing them for fear that the impetus for writing will be taken away and will instead feel chore-like ('writing down' as opposed to simply 'writing')
Organic writers CAN:
  • finish novels
  • get published
  • write complicated/layered stories
  • write unpredictable stories
  • write even when they don't feel like it
  • write both fiction and non-fiction this way
  • plot without outlining!
So what should we do with all that writing advice? Should we get rid of all those books and newsletters that tell us how to outline?

In a word - 'No'. It's my firm belief that we can learn from anyone who's been on the pro writing road before and that includes those that use this dreaded outline business. I don't have it all figured out just yet but I'll share my findings along the way and show you how to make all that advice work for you.

I must say, I find it very ironic that someone so interested in process (me) finds it necessary to write without the step-by-step set-up and planned writing-route in order to get out her (my)
best work!

So in answer to the original question 'What creature be this?' I feel I must answer 'ME!'

"Hi. My name is Gypsy and I'm an organic writer..."

But I'm not the only one. There are many writers who've successfully finished and published novels in this exact manner and continue to use the same method for whatever they're working on right now.

'Organic Writers R Us.'

You are not alone!
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Next time on THE ORGANIC WRITER:
I'll take a look at a couple of methods published authors (who write organically) use when they're writing.
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Write on!
The Ink Gypsy

1 comment:

toniahouston said...

Love! I am another 'creature' that belongs to the Organic Writers R Us club, and I am on a mission to communicate with others like myself,it can be a lonely worl.Well done!