Monday, April 02, 2012

Organic Me

Later this week, I start doing six, thirty-minute weekly sessions at an elementary school. First up, I'm going to be talking about my writing process. Years ago, even after I started publishing, I didn't know what the hell a writing process was. Now, I know all too well. Over the last four or five years, I've spent a lot of time tinkering with mine, trying to improve it.

I know I'm an organic writer, something I don't find that much written about. It's like a condition that impacts how I work. The Organic Craftsman by Melody Chan does an excellent job of explaining what I consider my basic writing problem. My " method of composition is inefficient, especially when an author starts with only a vague impression, a feeling, or one single moment in mind around which to build an entire novel." Many of my books did start with nothing but a brief scene or a situation in which there is no action. Seriously, with a couple of books I had nothing more than, "I want to write a historical novel." "I want to write a book for younger children."

I realized very recently, that my ideas don't come to me with a story. The story has to grow out of the idea. Hence, the "organic" name works quite well for me. That's what I've been struggling with these last few years, ways to deal with that lack of defined story.

So, I'm going to talk to fifth- and sixth-graders about that?

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