Monday, April 30, 2012

Writing Methods

Writers are strange. Writers are similar. Writers are diverse.

Writing methods operate in similar ways. Many writers have strange methods. Many writers have similar methods. Many writers have diverse methods.

In my writing class today we talked about two basic types of writing methods.
  1. The Intuitive Method  
  2. The Outline Method (or the Story Board method)
 The Intuitive Method is where a writer gets an idea and then sits down and runs (or more likely "writes") with it. The writers who use this method seem to enjoy the thrill it provides. There are advantages and disadvantages to it.
Advantages:
  • There are more surprises within the story. These surprises are more shocking because even the writer didn't expect them.
  • The development of the story may seem more natural. I think this one is debatable and depends a lot on the skill and abilities of the writer. 
  • The characters are more genuine in their reactions to events because the writer comes across an event that he didn't plan days before. This forces the writer to decide from the character's perspective in the moment. Life is full of moment decisions and characters are supposed to be lifelike, so this one makes sense. 
Disadvantages:
  •  There is one major problem with this method. It is possible for the writer to write a lot down and then realize that the ending sucks or that certain parts just don't work. 
  • Another issue could be a choppy plot line, but I have observed this doesn't happen that often. 
The Outline Method is where the writer ponders an idea and then writes down in an outline everything he wants to happen and in a certain order. Only after the writer has everything planned does he begin the writing process.

Advantages:
  • The writer can  make sure everything lines up. 
  • The writer can make sure the end fits with the beginning. 
  • The writer has a chance to avoid writer's block. This one is only a speculative advantage. (See The god Writer's Block)
Disadvantages:
  • It is possible that writing with an outline may make the book predictable sometimes. But this also depends on the writer's skill. 
  • I once experimented with this style and I made a pretty decent outline. But I never picked the book back up to work on it. (I think I'll talk about my personal method I have developed in my next blog post. It addresses this.)
I think that these two methods can be combined. I also think that every writer has his own unique method. These two things basically just cover the major camps as far as a writer leaning more to one side or the other. Which method do you lean more towards? And what do you see as its positives and negatives?

I plan on talking about mixing the methods and my own personal method in my next blog post.

Sincerely,
Joshua A. Spotts

P.S. Sorry for taking so long to write a post. I blame...Final projects, papers, and exams.

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