There is no better writing teacher, or teacher of graceful living, than Deborah Chester. Once again she reminds me to trust my own process. I now remind you to trust your own, too. There is no wiser friend than the one inside each of us.
One of the most frequently asked questions I encounter is how do I go about planning a book, outlining plot, designing characters, etc.
There are specific tactics for those tasks, of course, but no matter how methodical, disciplined, and professional I try to be, I still make sure I allow time for thinking. Just thinking, sifting, mentally evaluating, letting my story sense guide me toward what’s right and what’s not quite there. It’s like driving in the fog. You can almost see the road. You have to go slow. You keep the headlights dim. And you trust your training and skill in maneuvering the car.
Often, I’ll go ahead and run with any spark of inspiration I have as an idea begins to take shape in my mind. I’ll write a few pages–not many–just enough to capture an image or a partial scene. It’s not plotting. Usually I write…
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