Plotters plot and pansters fly by the seat of their pants. I have done both in many genres of writing, including both fiction and nonfiction, and let me tell you–I will never be a pantser.
I used to think I could research my books as I went. I used to delve into plot and character development and setting and think ‘I’ll get to that later’. I used to believe that research was secondary to the fundamentals of writing a story.
I used to be very, very wrong.
And sometimes, as much as it pains me to admit it, writing doesn’t always take the priority.
When writing is your passion and not your job, maybe it’s still fun and cool to cuddle up in an oversized plush couch and watch the world out a rainy window, but when you’re trying to run a business and meet deadlines and manage several manuscripts at once, writing at a cafe is tantamount to doing surgery on a rollercoaster.
The constructive critique is a vital tool and not just for the reasons you think. While there is much to be gained from new sets of eyes reading and analyzing your work, the value of a critique, whether in a classroom, writing group or on a peer-to-peer basis, is undeniable.
I’ve also written stories in some pretty unique and odd places, scribbled out conversations, speed-typed a strand of dialogue onto my phone while I was supposed to be paying attention Chemistry. My odd writing experiences have taken me a great many places, here are just a few of the weird and wonderful spots where I’ve stopped to jot down ideas.
Every writer has their own style and approach to a story. Some research first, others outline and plan, and some dive right in with nothing more than a name and a vague idea for where their novel might end up. As you can probably guess, I’m not one of those people.
While there are a great many similarities between the tips for fiction and nonfiction writers block, I would say there are a great many differences too. Writing fiction employs a variety of skills that don’t necessarily overlap with those utilized for journalism or nonfiction. That does not mean it is easier or harder, simply different.
Cities do not speak. Beaches do not dance. Mountain ranges do not dream. Places are not, intrinsically, human. The humanity we derive from them is based in our own perception, the sights, sounds and smells that form a location or environment in our mind.
There is no natural anthropomorphism to a place, and that is why it is so important that we put it there.
The goal, ultimately, is to make your reader feel as though they are no longer reading, but rather, fully immersed in the story.
There are several ways to go about doing this. Here are just a few.