By Ruth de Jauregui
Writers have their own methods of working their way through the story and getting the words on the page. Some authors plot every element before they begin and build character studies that detail the main and secondary characters. Others, like me, start writing and the words evolve into a tale.
After I get started, I do engage in a little plotting and somewhere in the first 10,000 words, the end comes to me and I write it out. Then I fill in the rest of the story, twisting and turning and returning to the various threads as the story leads me. I do have a mental list of things to return to and resolve before the tale ends.
I can't speak for every writer, but I do have a vision of my main character when I begin. Despite my plans, all too often she seizes the keyboard and the next thing I know, she's described herself or a scene that was merely a passing thought an hour or three ago. I admit it, I don't always know exactly where the story is going until I'm driving, washing dishes or doing some other mundane chore and boom, the next scene hits me.
One thing that I do that's often discouraged by more experienced fiction writers (my currently published books are all nonfiction) is when I change some detail in the story, I search back through the already written chapters and change the earlier details to ensure consistency. It is a pet peeve to have some detail pop up as I'm reading a book and I say, "Wait a minute." I have literally went back and searched through the pages to find that earlier inconsistency. Obsessive? Yes, yes, I am.
While I'm forcing myself to write "Bitter Nights" in chronological order, my other work-in-progress "Hunters Moon" has scenes that haven't been worked into the story yet. I sat down and wrote chapters as they came to me, and I haven't finished weaving the story together yet. I was working away on "Hunters Moon" and then Bitter stepped into my head and demanded that her story be written first.
There really isn't a right or wrong way to write your story. More important is to sit down and get the words on paper. You can always edit it later to clean up those rough edges, and then turn it over to a professional editor and proofreader to fix up your small grammatical and punctuation errors.
Just keep writing!
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