So early last month I made a post about writing being scary but how I was going to keep on writing no matter how scary. Well, I’d like to make a few amendments.
Writing is still scary. That’s never going to change. I’m always going to be terrified at the thought of showing other people my stuff.
What I have done since that last post, though is really reconsider what my stuck points were with this novel. The first was easy: I was writing in the wrong voice. Once I switched to first a lot of things seemed to fall into place and the words started flowing again.
But I kept on thinking. See, I’ve always been a pantser (of the kind with a few basic concepts and scenes sketched out in my head) but maybe I shouldn’t be. So I’m going right back to the very beginning and plotting You Precious Thing out to give it a proper go during NaNoWriMo.
I’m also just doing a lot of reading on the craft again. Some books are new, some I’ve read before. And some are articles, not books. Here’s a short list – do you have any recommendations or favourites?
- Dear Ally: How Do You Write A Books? by Ally Carter and others.
- Writing The Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
- How Not To Write A Novel by by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman
- Story Genius by Lisa Cron
- How To Plan Your Novel Using The Three-Act Structure at writersedit.com
That last one is super interesting, as it talks about how The Hunger Games book not only uses a three act structure, but each act is nine chapters long, so has three lots of three act structure chapters in each part. If you open up each of the books you’ll see each are 27 chapters long, with three parts, and each part having nine chapters. It has been my favourite so far to read, and I will have to read the book itself to compare and analyze.
So since I’m still entering the world of planning, I have to ask: do you plan, and if so, what is your method? I’m curious to see how people prepare for a novel and if there’s anything I can learn from how they do it.