How Not to Get Ahead of Yourself When You’re Writing – Guest Post by Traci Kenworth…

When we get a new idea, it feels like the whole world opens for us, and we can do anything. Some newer writers spring into the writing before they’re ready. It takes time to get that story down. And work. Yes, it starts with an idea but there’s work to dig into from that starting point. First, you want to let that idea simmer. It needs time to spark and give you more to layer on that story. Or, of course, non-fiction if you’re creating that. The concept is the same: you start with a nugget of info. Next, you have to learn to follow the trail.

To build a story:

  1. Write the scrap down.
  2. Let it simmer.
  3. Start with the character or setting. Should you build your world, then your character? That view varies. If you start with character, you could always decide what kind of world would they live in? If you start with setting, imagine who would inhabit that habitant?
  4. Examine the plot. Given these circumstances, does it seem plausible? If not, rework the circumstances till you get it where you need to.
  5. Here’s where if you’re a plotter, you’d outline. Pantsters have their own sort of guidelines for what they want to do. Maybe they start with a beginning, middle, and end and work toward each point. Or maybe they just start out blind and discover the story as they go along. Your way is something you have to work out for yourself. There’s no one way or right way, just your method.
  6. Now, begin writing. Do you start at page one and follow through till the end? Do you skip around, getting scenes down and then in the end, bring them together? Do you right from the middle and work yourself backward or forward? Again, no one right way, just yours.
  7. Keep on the path till you finish your first draft.
  8. Set it aside for as long as you can.
  9. Write second draft. If that means, starting from scratch do it.
  10. Set it aside.
  11. Repeat drafts till you’ve got it polished enough for someone to see. Send to cps or betas. Or, perhaps an editor if you’re Indie publishing.
  12. When you get it back, set it aside. Take it out and polish.
  13. Submit or begin Indie Journey.
  14. Note, this may not be the ending if you traditional publish. There is sure to be rounds of edits still even after acceptance.

It’s easy to get ahead of yourself when writing, but if you pull back, think about what step your on, where to go from here, you’ll find the journey more rewarding.

Traci Kenworth

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16 thoughts on “How Not to Get Ahead of Yourself When You’re Writing – Guest Post by Traci Kenworth…

  1. Interesting, Robbie! I’ve heard from other authors as well that each book seems to be different than others. I pantsed my first four book series, plotted the next trilogy, and plotted my recent standalone project. I tend to pants short stories still.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Traci. I’m a big fan of leaving a first draft to sit for a while.
    As for writing style, I used to be pure pantster but switched to plotting for my novel. I think I’ll be staying with that formula: pantsing for short and plotting for long fiction.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Interesting article, Traci. I must say that I have written three longer books, one for middle school children, one for teens and adults and one for YA and I have approached each one differently. What I can say is that each book has evolved in its own way as I go along and I write bits as I get new ideas (within the story line, of course) and then put the whole lot together at the end.

    Liked by 2 people

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