Saturday, March 17, 2012

Finding A New Story

Every writer has their own process and every writer needs to discover their own process. Some are plotters, some are “pantsers”, some are kind of mixed up between the two. No judgment. Find your own style and don’t let anyone tell you it’s wrong.
I’ve written more than thirty books (short stories to full length novels) and I’m still learning, still refining my process.
Right now, I’m a plotter with some flexibility. Recently, on two different story occasions, I’ve run into a block. I liked everything about the story—characters, basic plot line, setting—but something wasn’t right. The story didn’t flow; things seemed too contrived.
I’ve run into this situation in the past and I’ve pretty much forced it to fit (anything will fit if you have a big enough hammer). The results are some of my least favorite and least successful books. I don’t know if readers can sense my dislike for the book or if they read along thinking “Really? Why would someone do that?”
I’ve been working on the plot for my next werewolf book and it was okay but felt forced. Instead of clinging to the storyline like it was my last good idea, I backed off and decided, “The story’s not working. Let it go. What else could happen?”
And what came out is something I think is brilliant (naturally) and I can’t wait to start writing it. From experience, I’ve learned that those books are usually my favorites in the end and sell the best.
It worked so well with the werewolves, I tried it with the second book in my next series and poof another brilliant idea that will hopefully get my hero and heroine in bed together without it feeling like “wow, the author needed a sex scene here.”
So, the words of wisdom portion of this...find your own writing process, don’t let others tell you it’s wrong, but be willing to learn when it stops working for you.~Tielle St. Clare


DeNise said...

Ohh thanks '-> another example of 'there is no magic bullet'. Thanks for a great bit of advice-just have fun and write a great book.

Tam Linsey said...

Right on, Tielle. I think every novel requires a new process, as well. Some plot out just fine. Others want you to blow with the wind.