A guest post by Abigail Owen
There are two extremes of writers out there – the ones who plan and detail like crazy and the ones who fly by the seat of their pants. Much like other polar opposites – like liberal/conservative, shy/outgoing, hot/cold – most people fall somewhere in the middle but lean more toward a particular side. Neither side is perfect or more right or more wrong. It’s what works for you as an individual.
Me? I lean more toward the “pantser” side.
I recently read a book release by an author where she talked about writing the book. She mentioned things like, “I laughed out loud when Mike (the male lead) whispered in my ear.” I love that mental image because sometimes that is exactly what I feel like happens to me. My characters and story talk to me.
I have tried to map out every detail of a story before, and I really struggle to write it after I do that. I feel so restricted, so hemmed in by what “has to happen” that the story doesn’t flow for me. I can’t hear my characters talking to me. But if I leave it too loosey-goosey, with no plan on where to go, I spend a lot of time spinning my wheels.
So now I do a little planning. I always start a book with a general idea of the key points – characters and their development, major turning points, beginning and end. I will often have specific scenes in mind and I know where I want those to go in the book. But all the stuff in between… it comes to me as I go.
Sometimes where a story goes is as much of a surprise to me as it is to you. And I love that. I love discovering my characters and story along the way. Do I frequently have to go back and change parts I’ve already written to go with my new direction? You bet. Do I believe the story is better because I’m flexible enough to roll with it? Absolutely.
So to the writers out there… which are you and why?
Award-winning author, Abigail Owen was born in Greeley, Colorado and raised in Austin, Texas. She now resides in Northern California with her husband and two adorable children who are the center of her universe.
Abigail grew up consuming books and exploring the world through her writing. A fourth generation graduate of Texas A&M University, she attempted to find a practical career related to her favorite pastime by obtaining a degree in English Rhetoric/Technical Writing. However, she swiftly discovered that writing without imagination is not nearly as fun as writing with it.