Sunday, November 18, 2012

R.L. Stine and writing

I've read that R.L. Stine of the extremely popular children's chapter book series Goosebumps, spends about a month working on an extensive outline for his books. It's so detailed that his book is practically already written by the time he actually starts writing. I am going to try this method for my next book. I don't even remember if I've posted about this already, but I'm hoping it will help someone else going through the same struggles with writing as I am.

I remember doing a crazy long outline for my first book, but it wasn't very cohesive and when I started writing my book, my characters didn't behave the way I wanted them to behave, thus making me stray completely away from my outline. This is probably a beginner's mistake. While I was in the process of writing my book I read that there are writers like Ray Bradbury who don't use outlines. After reading that, I thought I was a "no-outline person" as the book I was reading called them.

Now that I have written and struggled with my first novel, I think that following the R.L. Stine method sounds like the better idea. I will post my thoughts about it later when I have actually done it for my second book because I am still proofreading and editing my edits (of what I thought were my final edits!) for my first book. Just when I think I'm about done with my book, I find ways to make the sentences better. It seems like an endless process! **hangs head**

Other writers must go through the same thing, but it seems that when I have made what I think are beautiful edits, I go back to read them several days later and find that what I wrote is terrible. I sit there groaning with my head in my hands and say to myself, "This is awful." Once I make the edits that I think are brilliant, I give myself a thumbs up. I don't know if I'm fooling myself or I'm being too hard on myself.

I just have to remember that I need to keep writing no matter how bad it turns out. The more I write, the better I'll be and I have a lifetime of stories to tell. That's the best advice for writers. We just have to keep writing and if it doesn't get published, write it for your future grandchildren to read when you're gone. It'll be something to remember you by.


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