Is There Method to My Madness or Madness In My Method?

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Some people say there is a right and a wrong way to write a novel. I can’t say that I agree with such a notion when it comes to the creative process. It’s like telling a star there is a right and a wrong way to twinkle. In my mind, the only wrong way to write a novel is to never complete it at all, but then again, I cannot pretend to be much of an expert about anything. I am merely stumbling along with the rest of the millions of hopefuls out there looking to share their work with some portion of the population of billions of readers.

I do know a thing or two about completing a novel. I have two on the market, I have two that are edited and waiting for covers, and I have one that is completed and waiting for editing to begin. That’s five novels in all, and I am still writing.

My works may never be called literary masterpieces. They may never even reach worldwide pulp fiction fame, but people are buying the ones that are out there and are anxiously awaiting the ones that are not, so it’s something. A starting point. A tiny box for me to stand on and say I have a tad of experience in the world of writing.

I don’t write an outline. Many”experts” say you should. I write my stories starting at page one, and I keep writing until the end comes. I don’t always know how the story is going to end until I get there, but things are always organized in my head as I go. That drives a lot of experts insane to not have a detailed plan of how the story is going to play out before you start. I could go on, but I won’t. It would be too boring.

So what’s the point then? The point is, do it your way….. No matter what anybody else says. So long as you do it. I found I got more discouraged and less productive the more I listened to the “experts”- in part because none of them ever seemed to agree on whatnthe “right way” was supposed to be. I finally had to find my own path and just go with it. I followed the rules when I had to. When I was in school and was forced to do things a certain way, but now, I do this for me.

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Oh sure, there were times where I felt like the crazy guy driving down the road on my tricycle making more than a little bit of a fool of myself, but hey… There are plenty of others out there on their trikes keeping me company. The beauty is, the road is not truly a lonely one. It is only a lonely path when it is the wrong one. When I say wrong one, I mean the path you take away from your dreams. Stumbling toward your dreams may be messy and painful at times, but it is still worth the journey. 

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So no matter what anyone says, follow your own path. Don’t be afraid to accept wisdom when it’s offered, but don’t be led around by the noise either. Your vision is a unique one that only you can express. No one else will ever have the same voice so shout it out.

4 Comments on “Is There Method to My Madness or Madness In My Method?

  1. There are only three rules about writing books. Unfortunately no one knows what they are…(well-known writer whose name I’ve forgotten).

    I don’t tend to outline either. I either have an opening scene and see where it takes me, or an ending which I work towards. Then I make notes as I go along/during the first edit to tease out any knots.

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    • I think that’s a great approach. I always love to hear how other authors come to their great ah-ha moments. For me, there is beauty in the diversity of the journeys we all take, and that beauty sometimes gets lost in the “half-to’s”. Thank you so much for sharing a little glimpse into your magic. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a kindness. The only writers it won’t help are the erroneously self-assured ones.

    Writers write, I think, because, according to an axiomatic double entendre I adopted years ago, “you can’t beat your brains for entertainment.”

    I can’t tell whether the third-to-last sentence contains a typo or a genius description. “. . . but don’t be led around by the noise either.”

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    • Thank you so much for your comment. Though I claim no genius or wisdom for that matter, “noise” was purposeful. That section was just eluding to the idea that at some point as writers we need to make a decision about who we are and where we are going with our work, though we should never forget to reach out to those around us and seek the wisdom of those who have been doing this far longer and with greater success than we have. As in all things however, humility and grace should always abound. 😊

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