Friday, July 8, 2011

Just Starting Out Again

Hi all! Today, I want to introduce you to one of my bestest best friends in the whole wide world: Theresa Jankowitz. We met at University and over the years, I've managed to pull her over to the dark side. Some of you might already have met her when we traded character interviews a couple of weeks back. Anyway, she's still new to the blogging world, so I really hope that you ladies and gents will go over and give her a lot of love.


Just Starting Out Again

The most difficult part of writing anything is not starting writing.  It is getting past starting.  I can’t tell you how many stories I have started writing.  I always get an amazing idea for a story and start writing with gusto. But after the first three paragraphs the brand new writing engine develops a little purr.  By paragraph five the purr has turned into a growl.  Paragraph 8, a roar.  By the time I reach paragraph ten my writing engine blows up in a spectacular show of irritation and loss of enthusiasm.

This time round I have finished a whole chapter.  So far.  The surprising thing is that I’m still going.  My engine sounds the same as when it came fresh of the assembly line.  It is a new model, too.  One with all kinds of shiny bells and whistles.  What is so different this time?

This time I began with the end in mind.  Incidentally, this is one of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.  A good read, by the way.  Back to the point.  When I started writing my newest WiP, I knew where I wanted the story to end.  I didn’t even know much.  I knew only one scene.  That is enough to keep me going for now.

I am a plotter.  I never wanted to believe it.  I was proud of my pantsing.  I liked going with the flow and do what I felt like.  Only it didn’t work.  Along with knowing where I wanted to end, I realised that I need to know how I am going to get there.  That was a big surprise for someone who likes to think that I have figured myself out.  Big surprise.

I now plot and plan, and plan and plot.  I think about where I am going and why.  It helps.  I actually have a plan in mind for three whole chapters.  It is more than I can say of any of my discarded Works In Progress.

My point?  Don’t take yourself and your style of writing too seriously.  It will probably change spectacularly along the way.

What about you?  Did your style change somewhere along the way?

Thanks so much, Theresa!
There are still a few GPF slots open for the rest of the year, but they're going fast, now. So if you still want one, don't wait until you have a topic. Book now! My e-mail address is mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com.
Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. I've always wanted to be a serious plotter, like those who know every single scene before they write. I don't. I know who I'm going to point A to point B. I know the twists and the outcome, but the dance in between is a mystery until it happens. :)

    Nice to meet you!

  2. Nice to meet you, Theresa. This post strikes a chord with me as it reflects my writing life: pantser turned plotter. The thrill of not knowing where the story is heading has given way to knowing and having the ending in mind before I start writing.

  3. I know exactly what you mean. When I first started writing I'd get all excited about the beginning and hope that it would 'all turn out right in the end' but it never did. I now know that if I want to write a halfway decent story I need to plot carefully. There are some people who insist that they never plot. They say that they just sit down and it pours out. Can writing ever really be that simple?

  4. Oh yes, we ALL love the beginnings. SO much fun. I always get stuck when I get to the point where I need to plot for a bit, but once I get past that, it feels really good...

  5. Great post Theresa! I'm the same way; loving to plot things out. :)

  6. Thanks everybody for the great feedback. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has a change of heart every so often!

  7. Hi Misha. Hi Theresa.
    My first book was all by the fly. I didn't know better. Now I have a plan, but only in one or two sentences which may change depending on how the characters respond. So I guess I have married plot and panstering together.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

  8. Hi!!
    My name is May and I'm a Spanish writer.
    I put in my blog the prologue of my third book: Choice.
    You can translate the page to englis in the bottong of traslator. It has English.
    SO I wait yout comment saying me what do you think about mmy blog.
    I know that my english isn't very good^^

  9. Have you tried writing a whole synopsis when the new idea is fresh in your head? that way you really do have something to work to.

    I'm a pantser for the first draft, but sorting out the plot holes is turning me into a planner/plotter. I think a bit of both is needed for me to work.

  10. I am not a writer and have trouble even coming up with a post that I feel is worth looking at sometimes but I do love to read and appreciate those of you who continue to bless me. Carry on.

  11. This is so true. Anyone can start a book. It's the finishing that really matters. Great post!

  12. Nancy, I think you might have the winning recipe there. I don't think there's just one way to do it, we all have to finds the way that works best for us.

    I've never tried that, no, Rebecca. I usually can't think that far ahead. I like knowing what's going to happen in the end, so I know where I'm going. The road to the end is a mystery, however.

    Odie, we are all writers even if we just write a blog! I think it is wrong to gauge our worth as a writer by looking at what we write. The plain fact that you are writing something means you're a cut above the rest.

    Thanks, Elana. Glad to know people agree with me!

  13. Hi Misha! I'm May again:)
    Thanks for the following (I think that in English you say this) xD
    I love you're blog, I read everything (and I understand it) and I thin that you're a brilliant person.
    I only wanted to say that:) bye kisses^^

  14. Great post! it is hard to get through that beginning part. I think once you've done a it a few times, it helps ;o) I'm both a plotter and a pantser. I love to plot, but sometimes get a little ahead of myself and get trapped... LOL!

    Good info, thanks!


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