My writing method. It might surprise you.

Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

Share how you keep your characters, storylines, etc., organized. Do you use an outline? Notecards? Post-its all over your walls?

Today, I’m going to be talking about my writing method. Some of you are going to shake your heads at what follows, I did when it first started. Now I’m used to it, for me it’s normal.

You see, I don’t think of myself as a creative person. The idea that I come up with all these complicated plots, settings and dialogue, and can write thousands of words that make sense is laughable. And in three different genres? Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m just not like that.

My method is simple and requires very little input from me. I watch a film, playing on a screen in my head and merely type what I see.

That’s it.

To see what I mean, try this. Next time you’re watching a movie, or even a show on T.V. that you haven’t seen before, imagine writing down the action and all the relevant dialogue, as it occurs. But better than that, you can stop, pause and rewind the film if you miss a bit.

If it’s all going too fast for you to keep up, you can slow it down and see it from different angles to make sure you get all the important details. But you can never fast-forward. You have to wait to the end to see what happens.

That’s how I work; if you can call it that. I just put into words what I see happening on the screen in my head.

The great advantage of this is that no skill is required on my part. There’re no weeks of angst, trying to fill plot holes or devise ways of getting people into situations to have the desired outcome. I let them get on with it, wherever they are.

I’m merely a chronicler, an observer and recorder of events. The characters let me into their worlds, show me their lives and I’m grateful.

As far as I’m concerned, this is a very good way to work;

because I’m inherently lazy and it means I don’t have to do much. It also means that I don’t get writer’s block, because I’m not a writer, at least in the creative sense. If I don’t see a particular film for a while, I don’t write it down. I might see a different film instead, in which case, I’ll write that story while it plays.

When I’ve finished a story, and remember I get to that point at the same time as a reader will, I just have to correct the spelling and grammar and I’m done. My editor will take a look and make it shiny, as long as I’ve been paying attention there shouldn’t be too many plot-holes that needs filling.

When they’ve finished and sent it back, all I have to do is re-read it, apply their corrections and see if anything else appears in my mind, connected to any of the scenes. If not, I’m good to go.

As I said, I know that it sounds crazy. But, as long as it works (25 publications so far and about 7 in progress), I’m not questioning it too much.

I can hear you thinking that the novels can’t be much good if that’s all that I do, where’s the blood, sweat and tears, the sleepless nights and all the effort?

My answer to that is, why not try one and see what you think?

How about you, what’s your method?

Let me know in the comments, then check out the rest of the great blogs on this hop.

Just follow this link.


16 Responses

    • Richard Dee

      I couldn’t tell you how it happened, but it did and it suits me.

  1. Roberta Eaton Cheadle

    I think this is great, Richard. I could never write like this because my mind doesn’t work like this and I can’t visualise a movie because I never watch any, but I do know that we all have our unique working methods. Mine are unusual too because all my work colleagues comment on my lack of note taking all the time.

    • Richard Dee

      I used to think that if I told anyone, they would think I was some sort of crazy person. Since I’ve had the courage to talk about it, I’ve found lots of other authors who say they work in the same way. Which is a relief.

  2. phil huston

    The stories are there, looking for vessels who can type. Characters show up like a stage play in my head and off we go. Where I never know.

    • Richard Dee

      Exactly. I think of them as downloads, available to all. I’ve just tapped into them.

  3. Maretha Botha

    Your way of doing things is great. I’m glad to hear how you do things because I don’t work in chronological order. If I’m in a scene or something needs to be written down and developed, that will be what I’d be working on. The blood, sweat and tears come more from sitting for many hours in front of the PC and I’m wondering why I’m killing myself, working harder than when I was gainfully employed. Yet, I cannot stop. So, that’s why it’s great to see how others get on with the job of writing something which others might enjoy reading. Thanks for your insights. 🙂

    • Richard Dee

      There is so much variety in our working methods.

  4. Amy Miller

    Yep! That’s why I always joke about being a director, but really the characters are just letting me tag along. It’s fun to have character buddies!

    • Richard Dee

      It certainly is. I have unfinished work from ages ago, I don’t know when the characters will reappear and finish their tale. I miss them.

  5. Lyndell Williams

    Nice post. My stories play out in my head too, but I still need to plot them because, unlike a movie, things can change.

    • Richard Dee

      I love the feeling of surprise I get when a twist that I wasn’t expecting occurs. Getting the good bits at the same time as the reader will helps me to understand how they will feel.

    • Richard Dee

      Its great, isn’t it? When I sit down, I never know which story I’ll be writing, or where the characters will take me.

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