To Outline, Wing It, or Both?

Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s said there are two types of writers: those who work methodically off an outline and those who write by the seat of their pants, guiding their characters into the unknown with pen, paper, and intuition their only provisions. Another type that is commonly overlooked is the hybrid. In a world of logical classification, they are the platypuses.  They clutch notes about their story arc and confess in whispers how they don’t know what the next scene will be.

All three methods have merit. And difficulties. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Continue reading “To Outline, Wing It, or Both?”

The Color Red: the Brighter Side

When I counted every person who had critiqued the chapter I blogged about last week, I calculated twenty. Never before have I had that large of a critique group, and never before has my writing changed so drastically from start to finish.

Over two months ago, before another pair of eyes had seen that chapter, I’d rewritten it a dozen times. I was not satisfied with the result, but I didn’t know what else to do with it. Then came the residency program (the class I also mentioned last week) and I came home with a stack of critiques. One month later, with a little encouragement, I began working toward a contest for first chapters, and I found myself asking for even more Continue reading “The Color Red: the Brighter Side”

The Color Red

Image courtesy of Suat Eman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Suat Eman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Recently, three authors whom I admire gave me a crash course in the color red. Two told me red symbolizes pain, anguish, and bloodshed. The other author showed me.

He took a sample of my writing and projected it against a wall for the class and me to study. First came the untouched opening of a chapter I had spent a month working on. The class and I read it, nodded, and waited for the edited version. I thought I was ready, but when the edits came on the screen, I saw red. And I don’t mean I was angry–the page was red, Continue reading “The Color Red”