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The Land of Wind and Ghosts

22 March 2012

Usually, when I start writing a book, I pretty much know how it’s going to go. I don’t really outline, but I put together notes most of the time. In the case of a series, these notes get more elaborate in later books, like the notes board I have for 47 Echo 3. But I pretty much always know my characters, some large events of the plot, and the basic motivations behind everything when I sit down to write.

But that’s not always the case. With some stuff, I deliberately throw myself into the work without really knowing anything. I’ll literally just make shit up as I go along, or, in the case of the first 47 Echo book, have other people make shit up as I go along. I can be six or seven chapters into something sometimes before I see where it’s going.

The above is more often the case with Twitter Novel stuff. It’s not always — I knew where White Male, 34 and 200 Days where going when I started writing. But something about the Twitter Novel form really lends itself to immediacy, and it’s a fun way to write (though a less coherent one, for sure — those first drafts require a lot more editing).

What’s your favorite way to write? Off the top of your head, with a full outline, or with a rough map in front of you? And do you usually write in your favorite way?

One Comment leave one →
  1. christophergronlund permalink
    28 March 2012 1551

    I do believe I found a way to bypass the reply issue…

    Like you, I prefer to just write. I may know where I’m going…I may have a few points I plan to hit along the way, but I can’t really find out where I’m going in an outline. I have to get into the story and see where it goes. I don’t write chronologically, either. If I slow down or get stuck thinking what’s next, I’ll just write a scene from later on. Often, I can then look like I’m actually good at foreshadowing, when really–it’s just writing those later scenes that gives me something to shoot for when I get back to earlier scenes.

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