Friday, February 20, 2009

Writing Rules....

My March 09 RWR came in the mail this afternoon. Some months are full of information, others only so-so. But this issue is loaded with interesting articles; the role of the publisher, power promotion, author's views on revisions, and my personal favorite so far, the scene and sequel. I think Patricia Kay did a wonderful job of illustrating how well the scene/sequel can work, and what they can and cannot do for your story.

There are all sorts of technique books and websites out there. Swain's Techniques of a Selling Author, Ingermanson's Snowflake Method, and Stephanie Bonds Writer's How-To articles are good for me.

However, I think the methodology study works best after the first draft- Vivid, unique, heart-felt story telling comes fast and furious, when you are utterly in love with your h/h and all the mayhem before them. Then, once that first draft is over, the rules can help you smooth out your masterpiece. But to deliberately worry about the details before the bones of the story are laid out seems a bit stifling to me.

What about you? Any "have-to" rules you follow from the very beginning, or do you punt the rules and let your characters lead the way?

6 comments:

Alice Audrey said...

You kidding? I don't follow the "rules" even in revision! Which is not to say I don't try to make the story as good as I can with an awareness that certain writerly bad habits will turn off readers. But rules? Forget it!

Gillian Layne said...

Hi Alice! I'd say no rules works for you. :)

Lee McKenzie said...

There are rules? ;)

My characters lead the way and I follow.

Not only am I not a plotter, I'm a disorganized writer. Even when I think I'm writing scenes in order, I invariably end up moving several of them and rewriting to get them to fit.

Someone - can't remember who - once referred to my method as "quilting."

Definitely a messy process, but I kind of like the idea of creating a patchwork quilt.

Gillian Layne said...

Quilting is a lovely way to look at it. :)

terrio said...

Gillian - You just explained the "vomit it out" theory in a prettier way. LOL! When I first started this and people were throwing rules at me from all directions, I couldn't write a thing. Once I adopted the vomit it out way of thinking, the words came much easier.

You can't clean up and accessorize something until you have the foundation in place.

Gillian Layne said...

Hi, Terrio!

Accessorize. Cool. I like the feel of that. :)