Writing By The Seat Of My Pants
By: Ember-Raine Winters Author of Born To Resist
I was never one to make outlines. When I was in school, I got in trouble all the time in my research writing class because I could never stick to the outline. (If I wrote one in the first place) I was notorious for flying by the seat of my pants while writing.
It was no different when I decided to write Born To Resist. I had an idea and I ran with it. For me, when I write something I care about deeply, it just flows. It didn’t take me long to write the first draft. I never even really thought much about plotting out each scene I just wrote and wrote.
I think it probably has something to do with the organizational skills of the person writing. I have never been one with great organizational skills. While working with my mother on her business (my day job). I am known as the tornado. I know where everything I need is, but no one else could find it to save their lives. I’m not saying that it’s not good for everything to always be in its proper place and completely organized. It really is. I wish I could be like that. As it is, I work best in the chaos that is my own head.
My writing is much the same. If I were to try to map everything out ahead of time I could almost guarantee that by the time I was done it would be totally different then what I intended in the beginning. Which, when I was in college was the bane of my English teachers existence.
I have heard from many authors in writing groups that I am a part of on Facebook, that they allow the characters to lead the story. The characters tell them how the story will go. At first, I thought they were crazy. I mean I am extremely involved with my characters. I even have my favorites, but I thought, that is a bit ridiculous.
It wasn’t until I started writing Born For War, the sequel to Born To Resist, that I realized what they had been saying was true. I was getting to some pivotal war scenes and I was writing things that had never even occurred to me before. I was writing their story not my own. It was as if they were living things telling their story through me. It was surreal.
I realized then, even though the organization and plotting work for some people, it definitely wouldn’t work for me.