Most writing is trial and error. Let’s face it, there’s no exact science to writing, just like there’s no exact science to social media marketing.
It’s safe to say that every writer has a different way of putting words on paper and there are six types of writers:
1. The Daydreamer
Do you write just to empty your head? Find yourself living with the clouds on a daily basis? Then you may very well be a daydreamer. You love to write what you envision in your imagination but sometimes it’s hard to finish a story?
2. The Hulk
It’s that angry feeling that drives you on and changes you into the Journalist of your dreams. Everything you write is for a just and worthy cause with so much passion your readers can’t help but to be rallied for your cause.
3. The Hidden Talent
You might be a literary genius but your so concerned with being wrapped up in your basement with pen and paper and only a single candle to light your words that you forget these stories can be published.
4. The Optimist
You’re not only an amazing wordsmith but you have a dazzling and witty personality that everyone just loves. Writing is only half your journey because you’re such a charmer and your books simply fly off the shelves.
5. The Pessimist
You’ve decided it’s time you gave up trying to write and all your bitter feelings gradually build up until you have no choice but take the red pen and become the editor to rule all editors and the harshest critic around.
6. The Businessman
So the writing is just the warm up. What you’re actually interested in is the sales pitch, the business deals and the reward for your hard work. Perhaps you’re even a better salesperson than a writer?
I myself am perhaps The Daydreamer. Sales have never been something I’ve concerned myself with (potentially a little ironic) but my main love is for writing what I can imagine and there is no greater sense of relief than that. If I could show you the number of started chapters and partly mapped out novel ideas, you’d be amazed! One day I’ll finish (I promise).
So how can we make ourselves more focused?
The most annoying part of writing a novel is becoming bogged down with all the details, becoming lost in your own time-line, losing your place in the narrative and then anything that comes afterwards will result in being disjointed and unnatural. Put your hand up if you recognise this. Yep mine’s up.
So what’s the secret to organising your thoughts? How do you keep yourself on track? I’ve discovered the best tactic to keep your train of thought from derailing.
Map as you go.
What is it you may ask? Well it looks something like this…
This may look a little foreign to you, and it should do – we’re all unique and this is my unique way of mapping. Doesn’t look much like a map, I know, but I assure you it is the perfect drawing of my timeline. Each card contains all the crucial information for each chapter. The main character, date, location and events. I’ve even gone as far as to write what needs to be improved. (This is my first draft after all.)
What’s the reason behind this? Well unfortunately, this was happening all to often:
This is what I call utter chaos. There are scribblings, arrows, circles, crosses and all sorts everywhere on everywhere page. Everything needs a reshuffle and the biggest challenge a writer will ever face is moving chapters. Aahhhh! Writing nightmare.
So I’ve decided to map as I go and create a real timeline that I can see. Let’s take it a step further – I might even treat myself to a calendar, a real one. Risky!
People are unique and as writers, we are also unique. Everyone has their own method of controlling the chaos. How do you map your novel? Can you keep it all in your head or do you draw pictures and mindmaps? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear about your own techniques.