My Writing Method

Thursday, September 26, 2013

via Pinterest
(I feel for sure that I have answered this question before, but scouring my old posts left me with nothing. Please stop me now if I'm re-covering a topic I've already brushed over, and I shall be eternally grateful. ;)

Several of you have asked what my writing method is, if it works, and all that those questions entail.

Well, I do hope no one has got the impression that I have some marvelous, revolutionary method to share with you, that will shake the boundaries of outlining everywhere. In fact, my "method" is hardly a method at all - it is more like a hodgepodge of This, That and The Other Thing that I threw in a pot, simmered on low heat for 10-12 minutes, and poured over pasta. (I am most entirely unapologetic for my extended food-analogies).

But you asked, and I don't like leaving questions unanswered; at least not here on the blog. (This is an entirely different story where my ficticious writing is concerned.) So I'll give you what I have, and hopefully it will be of some use to you.

1. I don't do much outlining. I find that my free-form style of writing squirms when I try to order my writing in any sort of bullet-point, a-b-c, roman-numeral outline.

2. Instead, I use FreeMind. FreeMind is essentially like a web-outline (remember those?) on your computer. I downloaded the program for free about two years ago, so I'm really not sure how available it is today. But if you can find it, download it now and start exploring. It is excellent for those of us who need to be extremely organized (OCD, anyone?) but also are rather free-form where writing is concerned. You can basically plot your entire book in web-format, without the concern of running out of space, loosing That Piece of Paper, or putting a bubble in the wrong spot. You can also close all the bubbles up inside of each other, making for a nice, organized little bubble that is bigger on the inside. *wink* (I also like to make a separate bubble for spare ideas, like a little inspiration-stash.)

3. I don't write in order. Instead, I write up whichever scene I feel particularly inspired for at the moment. This helps me get the scene written while inspiration and the images in my head are still fresh.  Then, as the story comes together more, I start jotting down all the scenes that need to be written in a notebook format on my computer, and make myself sit down and write them in my writing time. I often find myself, at this stage, sitting down to write one scene and writing another I didn't know I needed. But that's the fun of it. ;)
The only problem with this method is that a few scenes can easily be forgotten, and you'll probably come to a point in your writing where you feel the need to go through your document and make sure everything is flowing well.

4. I write anywhere and everywhere. Part of having a heavy dance/school schedule is recognizing that I won't have quite as much at-home-writing-time as I would prefer. (But like Rachel said, this is because of priorities, and when I want to get more writing done - especially during NaNoWriMo - I can make it work). Thus, I've begun to improvise. Study hall at school? People are playing Spoons and other card games, chatting, singing, playing ukelele, and you'll probably find me in the corner scribbling in That Notebook. Especially during the month of November. During my off-hours at dance, I'll either work on homework or write in That Notebook. I don't go anywhere without That Notebook, because who knows when I'll have a sudden idea? When I get home, I can type up the scenes without having to pause and think between every few paragraphs (or sentences, on a harder day) because it will all be written for me. Which brings me to my next point...

5. I carry around That Notebook. I've mentioned That Notebook once or twice here, but it really deserves a proper introduction. That Notebook (or TN, from time to time) is a thick, spiral-bound notebook that was a birthday present a few years ago and that sat on my shelf untouched until I started writing Psithurism. I quickly re-decorated the cover with blue-and-grey triangles (every other one inverted) and began taking it with me everywhere. It has everything from Bible Study notes to scene lists, pages of straight-up writing, and the occasional hangman game from waiting at various places with my siblings. ;) It's a most beloved notebook, and because it is so thick, I've only filled it about halfway.

Extra: Chapter Outlining. I really like the idea of chapter outlining, but I've never actually done it. I'm not sure if it would work for me, but I'm willing to give it a try with Gumusservi. I know this has proved rather successful for others, and I like to think it will work for me. We shall see...

I do hope this has in someway been helpful - or at least interesting - to you all. O_o


  1. I write out of order a lot too! But I always end up starting the scene in the middle...then I'm left with lots of loose beginnings and ends of scenes. It's always interesting to hear how other authors write. Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Ah yes, the loose beginnings and ends of scenes! I always have to go back and tie things together more smoothly. :)

      My pleasure!

  2. Such a great post! This is super helpful. =] I may have to look into the FreeMind program... Your #3 method is exactly what I do! and I, too, have a That Notebook, though it is called Sari's Book of Stories III. ;D Thank you for sharing!

    I love your blog, by the way, and am looking forward to more posts!


    1. Thanks, Sarah! I would definitely recommend looking into FreeMind.

      Notebooks are excellent. Sometimes you just need to write it out...;)

      I'm glad you like it - and I hope you'll stick around!

  3. I thought I was alone...


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