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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Writing Wednesday | Manuscript Writing Technique

OKAY! I have this new awesome technique that I'm doing for my BLACK WIP. It's really cool and working amazingly for me. How do you all go about writing your manuscripts?

I know some people just sit down and write. Others plan and plan and plan before sitting down and writing. With The Thousand Year Curse, I sat down and write. As I went along in the story, I would jot down character notes, settings and things I thought I should remember.

With The Curse of Betrayal, I planned a little before writing. I wrote an outline, character notes and had to do some research. Then I sat down and wrote for as long as I could each day. This series is easy for me to just write and write until I've reached the end of each book.

I started BLACK WIP and hit a wall. I wrote an outline and character notes. I knew that I wanted to happen but I think I wasn't sure exactly what happened in the middle. I had a beginning and an end but no real filler.

Nonetheless I started writing and after about seven thousand words, I stopped. I didn't like where the book was and couldn't continue one knowing where it was headed. SO....

I scrapped it.

Here's a little background for you all. I work at a gym in my town which is mostly for women. Gym hours are busy from 8 am to around 11 am and then again from 4 pm to close. I tend to work 9-4 most days. So basically, there's a lot of down time.

I don't like using my laptop at work so I came up with the awesome new method. I knew the main things I want to happen in BLACK. I just couldn't get into a flow without losing interest. So....

The Scene Method

Start with your characters. Here is an example of my character sheets...

Because BLACK is from two different POVS, my labels for each page are different than if there was one POV. Each are labeled with a brief (5 words max) of what the scene is about and who is talking. Here is an example...

Then write it. That's pretty self explanatory. I hope.

After you have a scene written, just for a ballpark mine tend to be between 1,500 and 3,000 words per scene. PRINT IT. I know what you're thinking. Save it and send it so you have it on your computer. But don't do it. Print it, put it in a folder and move onto the next scene.

The reason I do this is because you're going to have to type the whole thing again into the computer or scrivener or wherever you do your manuscripts. This basically acts as an editing tool. You can fill in blanks, create transitions and edit while you're typing the scenes in.

I know what you're thinking. Why would I type a full length novel twice? Here's what I say... Why not? If it's going to ultimately help your manuscript, just do it. I've found that the flow of the manuscript, thus far, is so much better. 

My scenes turn into chapters that are already organized for me. I just love this technique so much more than virtually putting it together. I can make sure that there aren't any plot holes or stuff missing. I can also kill two birds later, by typing again and editing. 

Here's what my damn notebooks looks like though. Keep in mind, I'm only about five chapters in. My notebook is only going to get scarier. The one negative of this method, I think....

What do you think of my new writing style? Would you try it? How do you write? I'm curious to see what other people's cool methods. Post about it in a comment and next week I may have you write about it so people can see all the unique ways!


  1. That's a great idea!

    I am actually in the same spot you are, which is why this intrigued me so much. I'm working on the second manuscript in a trilogy of mine while the first is at the editors, and realized that i can't just sit and write. I can, but I need to make sure that every scene counts and makes sense. If not, I feel like I'm just writing for writings sake, and i hate that.

    I still haven't found a method, but I can appreciate how you're exploring new avenues. Good for you!

    1. Well the second I just sat and wrote. So now I have that manuscript but it's COVERED in notes like "add more scenes with whoever" or make sure "this happens after this" It's almost harder now going back in and adding stuff. Although I like just writing since it gets the main outline written faster. It's kind of like just filling in the blanks.


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