Sunday, January 22, 2012

Brainstorming is not Writing

Since I talked a lot in a recent post about all my accomplishments for the year, it's only fair that I mention a failure. Just before NaNoWriMo, I posted about a story that I was writing "by the seat of my pants" even though I'm typically more of an outline person. While it did help me get back into the joy of writing, that story sputtered out almost as soon as the post went live. So, for NaNoWriMo, I tried an approach more in line with my natural tendencies, to great success. First of all, I used "write or die" to hammer out in half an hour what would normally take me all day between taking care of the wee ones. I find marathoning the most useful for longer stories, to minimize distractions. For flash fiction I'd rather take my time with each draft, minimizing editing.

Secondly, I outlined using the notecarding method. If I ever want to pick up that other story, that's what I'll have to do. Let's keep the bulk of the brainstorming in the brainstorming phase, shall we? Otherwise I'll be all "oh, look! A butterfly!" And then write a flash piece about it. But the point is that my WIP will still be sulking in the corner, pointing an accusing finger at me. Or, by this point, billowing away as dust in the breeze. Dust under a million butterfly wings!

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