Sunday, June 13, 2010


I'm a bit of a copycat. When I read something I like, writing-wise, I always want to do it myself. While copying, I generally find my own style that encompasses what I like as well as my own style and I go from there, but there's one area where I've succeed at neither copying nor finding my own style: plotting.

I want to be a fan of plotting. I want to be an outlining wizard with notecards and charts and lists. I've always wanted to have a wall like Maureen Johnson's:

Unfortunately, this is not my style. When it comes to plotting, I have no style. I generally play it by ear; what feels right (or... what comes to me at the time) for the book/play/whatever is what I do. Sometimes it's trial and error. For example, I tried MJ's type of outlining* but it didn't work for me. I was advised to try a similar approach to parts of a play I wrote recently, but nothing clicked.

And after trying to copy and just plain trying, I still haven't really found my "method", but I do know that outlining is not for me, LOL. And actually, I'm usually okay with that because that's how the twists and turns happen for me- I start writing and things just start to come to the surface. I don't take all of them, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't even have them as an option if I had outlined in the first place. Libba Bray- another of my favorite authors- said something similar about the writing of my favorite book, A Great and Terrible Beauty... not that I'm copying her ;)

In other news, how do you like my new layout? I loved the other one, and a lot of the newer options offered were really cool, but I thought this one fit what I'm blogging about most.

I got home from work early today and thought, 'Great! Some time to devote some quality time to my novel revisions!' Want to know how far I've gotten? I've had the screen up for three hours now, have scrolled down a few pages and read a few sentences. *wipes sweat from brow* Now that's what I call work! *sigh* Scared, much? It's pretty much the same thing that I (and a bunch of my fellow students) were told in Shakespeare class last semester: "You're stopping yourself because it's easier and safer to fail than to go all the way and look silly while you move toward success."

Also, on the non-writing side, I'd like to ask any of the actors that read this blog if you have any tips on how to memorize Shakespeare. In the trend of copying, I do have my own methods, but I've never done an entire Shakespeare play and will take any pointers!

*Although MJ also recently said on Twitter that she only outlines these days to have something to laugh at later.

1 comment:

  1. I'd love to outline. Why? Because then I'd be able to follow along, like following the bouncing ball. But if I want to get anywhere as a writer, and my main goal is just writing, then I have to do it by the seat of my pants.

    Great post. Thanks for commenting on my blog.