Out in the blogosphere, there’s often a lot of discussion around the idea of writers being ‘plotters’ or ‘pantsers’ (for the uninitiated, the former is a writer who plots everything out, knowing the ending in advance; whereas the latter will just begin and see where the story takes them, the idea being they ‘fly by the seat of their pants’, hence the ‘pantser’ epitaph).
As any veteran Bang2writer knows, B2W advocates being a plotter, especially if you’re a screenwriter. Structure is key in screenwriting, so starting without an end point in mind can land you in what I call The Story Swamp.
In contrast, I think novelists have a little more leeway, for sure. Even so, working with writers daily, I believe even having a rough outline means less hassle and angst for most of them in the long term. I also think the best writing – of any kind – has cast iron structure and I genuinely can’t see how a truly great twist or pay off can occur without knowing where you’re going from the offset!
But every writer is different and I get that. It’s with this in mind I ask this question today:
Are you a binge writer, or do you write every day?
A key bit of writing advice is ‘write every day’. You see it EVERYWHERE online and will hear many authors and screenwriters advocating it at conferences, panel talks and workshops. It certainly seems to be THE ‘norm’ in terms of tips for new writers.
It’s not hard to see why. Whilst it’s true that ‘practice makes perfect’, writing every day is not possible for everyone. Certainly, I’ve never been able to concentrate on my latest work in progress every single day, thanks to various other commitments in my life like earning money, looking after kids, etc. I’ve also heard this lament from many of the Bang2writers, too.
But even if I was able to concentrate on my latest novel every day, I don’t believe I would. I like to really DIVE INTO my works in progress; I like to think of nothing BUT that storyline and its characters. I think of writing as a fully immersive experience, basically.
So I’ll write in epic ‘binges’, coming up for air every couple of days or weeks. Then I’ll do NOTHING to my WIP, waiting for various problems and development issues to knit their solutions together in my subconscious … So when I return, I have fresh eyes and (hopefully) won’t feel as if I won’t to flush the entire thing down the virtual loo.
What about you?
For fun, I’ve prepared two badges, which you can see below and download and display if you want to. Pick your side, take the poll and let the Bang2writers know! Let’s see how this stacks up in the B2W massive!
DOWNLOAD the Binge Writer badge, HERE.
DOWNLOAD the Every Day Writer badge, HERE.
Take the B2W poll
Can’t see the poll? CLICK HERE.