Sunday, August 19, 2007

Creative Differences

Whew! Well after a marathon reading weekend, I just finished Stephenie Meyer's Eclipse. I'm in awe, stunned, I absolutely LOVED it. Ms. Meyer, like Ms. Rowling, astounds me with her creativity, her storytelling ability, and her elegant ability to weave everything last little bit together to make a story a phenomenal whole.

I wonder if I'm at a disadvantage as an author by not having even a fraction of this sort of creativity. I struggle in coming up with character names. I usually have a good hook or a good starting point, and that's something, but really, it's just the tip of the iceberg. For me it's like pulling teeth to brainstorm and imagine and then decide what should happen. I think that's the main reason I write so very much (many, many pages). I can have a whole chapter (or more) done, and then decide that it's not interesting enough, it doesn't play into the rest of the story, or it's just lifeless.

For me the writing is the least painful part of the whole process. I'm a pantser and only spend the bare minimum on an outline or notes for the book. Part of that is likely due to my shortage of creativity--if I could think up a whole story all at once, complete with subplots, turning points, and character arcs, maybe I'd be a plotter. I am, however, trying to work myself in that direction. An article in the latest RWR had the suggestion to try writing the synopsis first. I think I may give that a whirl when I start working on my next book. Already on my list for the next project are a repeat of Fast Draft (which will probably be more manageable with the kids in school) and a collage or some other form of visual stimulus. We shall see what works and what doesn't.

Until then, go read Stephenie Meyer's vampire love saga...


Ava Rose Johnson said...

Hey Alyssa!
You sound just like me. I'm a pantser through and through.
I'm in the middle of fast draft. It's killing me. I keep cheating, lol.

Beck said...

All writers write differently, I think. I wouldn't worry! And a friend of mine carries around a notebook just for interesting names that he hears.

Trish Ryan said...

Thanks for the great recommendation! I have trouble with the making up of names, too. Even though my book is non-fiction, I had to change some names (I know way too many people named Dave, as it turns out) and I spent WAY too much time trying to figure out what to call them.

Vicki said...

I'm a plotser. I do a bit of both. Not always the easiest way but it seems to work for me. I do plot some of it in the beginning but then it's more pantser once I'm in about chapter 4.

Right now I'm taking a great online course called The "W" plot and I'm learning some pretty cool stuff.

We did a synopsis thing we called Birds of a Feather at my TARA meeting, last year. I have to say it really helped me in the RS that I was working on. I'm not saying that everything stayed exactly how I had it in the synopsis but it did give me a roadmap to work through.