Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What Kind of Writer Are You?

This discussion came up on one of my favorite writing forums, Absolute Write, and I felt compelled to blog about it. It's pretty cool when you stop and think how many different ways there are to approach writing. There's the outlining, the plotting, the heavy research, the finely detailed character development . . . writer's that use post-its (be it digital or wall paper), writer's that are fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pant plotters, and a new term I got from Karen Duvall: Story Dreamer.

This last title embraces me completely. I'm a story dreamer . . . I think of the plot and "dream" about it for a few weeks. I don't write anything down, because it finalizes it and the continuation from one subplot, ceasing it from playing in my head and building. After a few weeks of daydream plotting, I have a good dozen or so images in my head, plots, scene's, etc. and I start typing it out. I don't outline until the middle of the book usually. I let my characters take control of the story, which is always a fun surprise. But by the middle of the book, like most writer's, I get stuck or start panicking about plot issues so I'll write out simple chapter outlines to have a direction and goal.

Currently, I'm nearing the end of my story dreaming. I've been reading a few books for research purposes and enjoying the scene's my characters play in my head while I drive, sleep, do the dishes, you know, whatever. I have names (for most of them) now, and their appearance's are slowly fleshing out in my mind. I'm getting excited! The only thing that's stumped me is the fact I don't have a title yet. I always have a working title before I start, but I suppose this will be the exception.

What about you, if you write, how to approach starting a new work-in-progress?

On a completely random note: I've been typing this with my monkey of a child climbing all over me and trying to bribe piggy back rides from me (I'm 8 months pregnant people, I can only imagine how ridiculous it looks), and I'm DONE with everything Christmas related (prep wise). I probably won't have another blog up until next week, so Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas, I hope everyone has a fun, safe, and warm holiday week!


  1. I'm definitely a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants plotter. When an idea strikes, I start writing. Towards the middle I plot, though. Somewhat.

  2. I think I'm a little of all those types.


  3. Most definitely I am now a story dreamer in the beginning, carrying around the character with me like a secret because talking about it takes the magic away and finalizes it too much.

    My last work was unplanned, unplotted random scenes that I glued together into a novel and then had to cut 121000 wds from the behemoth it had become. So the next one will be plotted, outlined, and kept on a short leash. The characters can play for a while but they have to come in for dinner and go to bed. There will be boundaries!! Never want to go through that again!

    Have a great holiday, Christa!

  4. I'm a tried-and-true post-it write. My little computer desk area is slowly being overtaken by yellow stickys.

  5. Hey Christa,

    Merry Christmas to you and your growing family! :)

  6. Hmmm...I think I change from book to book. I'm trying to become more of an outliner. But I think I'm a lot like you in that I have to just think on it for awhile. I can't write anything down or, as you said, it finalizes it, and then it's gone for me. But I probably spend a bit less time on that stage? Other than that, I'm a chunk writer.