A popular post from August 2011
by Heather Moore
Disney/Hyperion editor, Lisa Yoskowitz, says that writing is an artistic process—there is no right or wrong way to write (Writers & Illustrators for Young Readers Conference, June 2011).
In fact, when I started drafting this blog, I changed the font style and font size to what I like to write in. In her June presentation, Lisa continued to discuss various ways of plotting/drafting, which all ultimately end up with the same end result: a book.
Because every writer approaches writing differently, I find it interesting to hear about various methods. Lisa discussed several methods:
1. Character Bible
4. Dive right in (or most often called “discovery”)
I fit into category #4 when I first start writing a book. As I continue to write, I find myself creating a mini Character Bible, and also jotting down plot ideas at the end of my manuscript. This seems to be the most effective way for me. Bottom line is that we all have our own methods and idiosyncrasies, just like any other artist.
If you’re a hard-core outliner, Lisa cautions writers to make sure the characters are strong, and your voice and pacing excellent. Don’t give your writing so much over to plot, but keep that balance. According to Lisa, as well as many other agents/editors I’ve heard from, she can tell by the first page if she wants to keep reading a manuscript.
Most of the time, all we get is that one page. The best exercise I’ve come up with in order to analyze whether my first pages pop out is to read a series of “first pages” from authors I love or in the genre I’m writing in. This is also a great way to study voice—that ever elusive intangible.
What are your writing methods?