Kate Allan

The online diary of Kate Allan, author

Monday, October 10, 2005

Time to face up to the wip

I hate starting new books. It's really scary. You have to establish character, set the pacing, create the tone, make choices that will affect the rest of the narrative. You are writing in a state of doubt. Julie Cohen

Sometime in the middle of July, at an exact moment I can't now pinpoint, I started writing (but mostly in my head) a new wip, cautiously titled MRS RANDALL after the lead female character. This wip is now about to be code-named SISTERS and I think I dare shortly start a spreadsheet to record word-count as I seem to have down about 8,000 words on the page. (I'm not saying they are good words, but at least something there).

It's been slow-going but I'm at the point where I think the next step is to do a tiny bit of planning and to invest some time in writing-up the backstories of my main characters. (If I don't do this I tend to go heavy on the backstory in my early chapters, which I then cut, and then I forget. Solution: write little character histories elsewhere from the manuscript.)

I'm generally against planning. It takes the suspense out of it for me. But I know that time invested in planning probably saves time wasted in drafting. What's the ideal balance between planning, and what is known in writerly circles as pantsing*?

I'm still learning.

* Flying-by-the-seat-of-one's-pants. i.e. making it up as you go along.


  • At 9:03 pm, Blogger Julie said…

    We're all still learning, babe. Glad you're up to 8K and heading towards the next step.


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