How Do I Write?

A couple of people have asked about when the next book will be out in the Noah Chance Series as well as the Junebug series. On both of these my best guess is within a few months. I'm over a hundred pages into both of them, but the story is still going and the characters are still working. All I can tell you is they will be ready when the characters say so.  It is on them at this point. The editing I'll take responsibility for, but the time required to finish the first draft is the fault of the characters and the story.

I'll explain what I mean by that.

Every writer works using their own style. I have read tons of books and taken a few seminars/classes on how to write and now know that the best way to write…is how you write.

One lecturer espoused the position that all books should be carefully plotted out and gave a great explanation of how it helped them to produce great books, and I agreed they are a very good writer so I took their suggestions to heart. I bought note cards to help move plot points around and to write character sketches, sat down with a good idea and…nothing. I apparently have a mental block against outlines, which is strange because in a prior career incarnation they ruled my work, although I was always willing to deviate when necessary. In writing, though, my attempt to use an outline created the dreaded writers block. I know now it's because I create characters first, put them in a situation that gave me the idea for the book in the first place, and then let them go. The characters write the story as they take off on their adventures.

Another tip that seemed great was to work on only one project at a time. I have always been a "jump around-er", writing bits and pieces of several different projects as the muse directs. When I set myself to work on only one project and refuse to work on anything else I find myself spending great lengths of time…not writing. Writers block again. As I write this blog entry, which i don't really consider as work, I am actually working on four different large projects. In the works are a movie script, the second in the Noah Chance series, the second in the Junebug series, and a thriller/drama about a lawyer.I work on whichever one that my mood says to work on and, if I get bored or run out of ideas, go to another one.

That's not to say that I don't sometimes work on a single project to the exclusion of everything else. The Bottle Tree, one of my favorite things I've written, is a long novella. It started out to be a book, was written to the exclusion of every other project over a period of a few days, and wrote itself to a large extent. I had actually written the first chapter and knew the ending a year or more before I wrote the rest of the book. I was laying down for a nap one day, that book not even in my mind, and my mind turned to the pine covered hills of the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana, and the next thing I knew the rest of the book popped into my head.

My goal here is really just to say, write however works for you. It's what i do.