Monday, August 25, 2014

Write Unbound


By Kimberly A. Bettes


If we’ve learned anything from life, it’s that what works for one, doesn’t work for all. A great example of this is skinny jeans. They are not for everyone. We are each individual, with different likes and dislikes, experiences and viewpoints. Give ten people a task, and they’ll do it ten different ways.

Some authors strive to write 1,000 words a day. They push themselves and struggle to achieve that goal, but most often don’t make it. Meanwhile, I turn out thousands of words at a time effortlessly. It’s quite common for me to have a 6,000 – 10,000 word day. And that’s without even really trying.

What do I do that those other authors don’t?

When I begin a story, it’s vague. I know how it’ll start, and sometimes how it’ll end, but what happens between the first page and the last is usually unknown to me. I learn it as I go. I put my fingers to the keys and let the story flow, with no plotting beforehand or outlining of any kind. I’m just as surprised by the story’s twists and turns as the reader will be.

Maybe that’s the secret. Maybe all that plotting and planning puts too much stress and strain on a writer. Maybe it stifles the creative process. If you’ve mapped out every detail of your story, you spend your writing time worrying about how you’re going to get there. If you’re like me and just let the story tell itself, cutting its own path across the page like a river over land, then you have the freedom to go whichever way the story takes you. You’re not bound by your pre-conceived ideas and goals.

I’ve tried plotting a story. It doesn’t work for me. Just like skinny jeans don’t work for me. If you’re one of the writers who fight to get a few hundred words a day onto the page, maybe you should try it my way. Just sit down at your computer, put your fingertips to the keys, and see what you have to say.

The thing is finding what works for you. Whatever it takes to get those words out of you and onto the page. Experiment. Practice. Find a way to open that can of ideas and get to work.
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Kimberly A. Bettes lives with her husband and son in the beautiful Ozark Mountains of southeast Missouri where she terrorizes the residents of a small town with her twisted tales. It’s there she likes to study serial killers and knit. Serial killers who knit are her favorites. Her books include Annie’s RevengeThe Good NeighborRageHeldBefore the HarvestTwistedShiners,PushedThe Day Bob Greeley Died, and The Cabin on Calhoun Ridge.You can find Kimberly online at any of these places: Blog: http://kimberlyabettes.wordpress.com/

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