I make a mess when I write. How about you?

There are many ways to write a book. When I first had the idea to write a novel, I spent a little time researching how to write a novel. Lots of people have lots of ideas. A number of people recommend that you spend time “plotting” out the novel, meaning that you write down each event in a word or short sentence, then organize the events into the most effective order you possibly can. Sometimes, writers use cue cards, so they can shuffle the order of events easily. It’s an efficient and effective way to write, I’m told.

I tried this approach, and hated it. I didn’t want to know what was going to happen. It sort of ruined the surprise for me. So I couldn’t use the cue cards or plot-outline type methods. Like my office, I just had to make a big mess and then fix it. So I wrote the story as I thought it would happen. I had to rewrite just about everything at least once. After I wrote it, I would realize that one of the characters wasn’t acting like he or she should, or perhaps I thought of a better event that should happen instead. I moved stuff. I cut stuff. So it wasn’t very efficient, but it worked for me. In fact, that’s my writing style, it turns out. And there are many writers who write in a similar way as I do. After a fairly long time, I had a complete first draft, but there were many, many little problems. I didn’t panic. I knew I could fix it.

Writing style is absolutely individual. Everyone’s different, and so when it comes to writing a novel, you have to find what works for you. If you don’t, you won’t finish, I don’t think. A novel is a lot of words and a lot of work, so make sure you know how you work before you start.

About Bill Bunn

Bill’s excited because his second YA novel, Kill Shot, is now available everywhere! Bill Bunn is the author of several books, essays, and articles. He is currently writing two pages a day to generate the rough draft of his next novel. Bill Bunn lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Bill teaches English at Mount Royal University. https://www.facebook.com/billbunnauthor
This entry was posted in advice, Essays, fiction, non-fiction, Writing advice, Writing process, Young Adult. Bookmark the permalink.

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