What is your writing style?
What I have learned from the many books I have read about the craft of writing is that every writer has a different style of writing. There are many different methods, so-called secrets, formula and styles employed by successful writers.
Some writers are meticulous planners. They plan the whole plot of a story or novel from the beginning to the end. Some use large sheets of paper and map out all the details; characters, settings, twists in the plot, sub-plots and so many other aspects of their story. Others use pieces of paper or post it stickers and rearrange all their notes until they make some sort of logical sequence. This type of writer may spend months or even years in this planning stage. The actual writing may then only take a few weeks or several months at most.
Seat of the Pants writers
Then you have those writers who come up with just a single thought, idea or snippet of dialogue and this is the sum total of their plan. This type of writer can sit at a keyboard and start writing, letting the story and the characters literally take over the plot line. This is â€œwriting by the seat of your pantsâ€ type of writing. It can be very exciting if it works – or it can be very frustrating if it doesnâ€™t.
In between these two extremes you have a whole range of approaches to writing. Some writers do some planning at the beginning, others may stop half way through and plan the ending. There seems to as many different styles of getting down that story as there are writers.
My Writing style:
As I develop as a writer I find that more and more I am able to write â€œon demand.â€ Blogging has done that for me. The goal of writing a new article every day keeps me accountable to myself. I find inspiration all around me and now I rarely struggle to come up with ideas. Often I feel swamped with ideas with too many to use.
I also find that I can write almost anywhere. I have my favourite spot of course but now I have a laptop I am very flexible in where I write. I sometimes write with music in the background, sometimes even with the television going.
I get a real buzz out of thinking of a setting, a characterâ€™s name or some other starting point for a story. I then start writing, letting the story or the characters take over. Discovering where the story or characters take me is just like reading a novel or story for the first time; you donâ€™t know the ending. Sometimes the ending is as much a surprise to me as it is to the reader. Risky – yes; exhilarating – certainly.
To read more on this topic, read the article in the link below. It was written by Adelaide crime and romance author, Kirsty Brooks.
Â· Writing fiction – planning your story or writing by the seat of your pants: individual writing styles written by Kirsty Brooks.
What is your writing style?
Tell me about it by leaving a comment.
For short things like blog posts and poems I tend toward the ‘seat of the pants’end of the spectrum. For longer work my OCD comes out and I like to plan, a lot. That’s the only way I’ve found to keep track of things.
(By the way, my domain has changed to the link above. If you could change it on your links page, I would appreciate it, Trevor.)
I was watching some of the “special features” on the Lord of the Rings Trilogy Special Extended Edition Boxed Set (12 discs – each movie comes on 2 DVDs, with another 2 DVDs of special features each).
One of the features was a mini-documentary on the life of JRR Tolkein, and how he came to write his books set in Middle Earth.
One interesting comment was that he didn’t tend to plan his writing at all – he just sat down and started – letting the story take him along for the ride.
I guess that’s why the books sometimes seem to ramble and contain parts that don’t really seem critical to the overall story (but still add dimension to a degree).
Thanks for these comments, Sim’. I’d be interested in viewing that DVD – must look at it next time we come to visit. (I’m not sure if Rose’s edition has these special features. Will check.)
Letting the story and characters “take over” can lead to a rambling effect in the overall plan of the story. Still, Tolkein probably would not have been able to get away with this approach today as it is my impression that the editors of many publishing houses follow a much tighter approach these days to keeping authors on track.
Hi there Rick – I’ve changed the link as requested. I haven’t had much time to visit your site over the last four weeks – must rectify that in the coming week.
I think Tolkein got away with it because he had spent literally decades planning it (not the stories so much as the “world” he had created in his mind and through many short writings he had already done). So, even though he didn’t have much of a plan for the stories he ended up creating, he already had a lot of the concepts he wanted to work with sorted out in his mind.