You've got My Style!
Many times we have fixed ideas regarding how to do a task. When the process works for us, that’s great; but sometimes we feel stuck. The process isn’t working. We fret, pace, lose sleep and wonder what’s wrong with us. Nothing is wrong; we just need a different process.
One time in junior high school I didn’t finish a written report. On the day we were to give the reports orally the teacher allowed me to give an impromptu speech instead. Afterward she told me, “If you had written that down you would have received an ‘A’ but because you didn’t follow the rules I can only give you a ‘C’. The lesson learned here is always do things the way you are told—or is it?
Many years later I was taking a writing course. The process was clearly stated:
- Create your character profiles.
- Write your outline.
- Create a flow chart to mark the arc of the story.
- Write your story.
- Make sure you have 'X' percentage of dialog, etc...
For the life of me I could not get that story out. The process felt backwards to me. My urge was to just write the darn thing. I had no idea who the characters were going to be, I would not know until they showed up, so I got stuck.
Some of us are “formula” people; we like structure, a map, a recipe. Some of us are more free-form. Then there are the times when the way we usually do it isn’t getting it done, that’s when we need to re-adjust our process. The trouble is—sometimes we don’t know how.
That’s when a community WOW! comes in handy. Hearing how other people go about a task inspires within us new ideas. So, what’s your style? Are you a formula-type or a free-form? Do you start with outlines and character profiles or just go for it? Share your thoughts here. Let’s see who’s got your style!