Are there new ways to write a book? by Allie Burton
I’ve always been a pantser, a writer who just writes with no plan or outline. I loved the freedom of writing this way, the excitement of discovering how the characters were going to act. But when the characters ended up in a corner with no way out, I hated the rewriting and rewriting and rewriting. Obviously, it wasn’t an efficient way to write a book.
For example, one time I wrote an entire story and at the end realized the character who was the bad guy should be the hero! Another time I inserted a character who’d died in the last book. Good thing I caught that one before publication. 😊
I needed to find a new way to plan a book without losing the creativity and freedom I enjoyed from pantsing. So (and this is how this relates to our monthly theme of trying something new), I tried a new approach to writing a book.
There are lots of systems and classes on plotting, but I needed something where I could still have my creative freedom to run the story in a different direction if needed. I didn’t want to be nailed down to a specific direction or outlined the heck out of the story where there was no fun or surprises as I wrote.
Finally, I found a class called Story Structure Safari taught by Lisa Miller.
This class had what I needed: a deep dive into character motivation, internal and external conflict, and story theme at the start. An overview of the four zones of the book. And brainstorming lists of ideas of what could happen to your character—nothing set in stone, nothing that definitely had to happen—just thoughts that could be explored more fully during the writing process.
The perfect system for me.
Are there new ways to write a book? Always. And whenever I need to shake things up again or am blocked on what comes next, I can find the next best thing that works for me.
Allie Burton is the author of several young adult fantasy books including A Glass Slipper Adventure, Lost Daughters of Atlantis, and Warrior Academy. You can find out more about her at www.allieburton.com.
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