Quote About Plans in Writing

Action plan with tablet and penDwight D. Eisenhower said, “In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

I know Eisenhower was referring to preparing for battle, but to me, it works for writing as well.

For plotters his quote could be interpreted as the plot that was planned might be useless, i.,e. doesn’t work, but the planning was important to know what will work and what won’t. Planning can be similar to a trial run that opens up new ideas leading to an outstanding piece of work.

For pantzers, we writers who don’t plot but sit down and write what comes to us, in other words, we write by the seat of our pants, I have found Eisenhower’s quote works for me as well. Writing out a plot is useless, discouraging, and leaves me with a feeling the story is already written so I give up and go on to some other story idea. However, in my recent WIP, Norman in the Painting, I sit down and write, but I’ve planned a brief idea of what the action will be in that chapter. No outline, no note cards, nothing in writing, just a brief sentence in mind such as Arctarius tells Jill how Norman travels from his world to hers. I had to research multidimensions, parallel universes, and other details in order to have the correct terminology for Arctarius but after that, the chapter was up to him. I maintained the ability for surprises to occur, and they did, he didn’t let me down.

What is your process?

Quote by Pauline Kiernan About Backstory

Pauline Kiernan“Your character’s backstory should feel to you that it doesn’t ‘end’ where the story proper begins. It needs to still be there, under the surface. And if it’s strong enough it will help immeasurably in creating a powerful (story).”

Pauline Kiernan is a screenwriter, award-winning playwright, and Shakespeare scholar.

“Pauline is interested in exploring themes of identity and power through strong female characters with sharp wit and humour, and inspirational characters who struggle in their world against inner conflicts. If there is one defining characteristic of her characters it is an indomitable spirit.”  http://www.pauline-kiernan.com/

Quote and Submissions Request for CHOICES, An Anthology

“Sometimes in the waves of change we find our true direction.”   Unknown

This quote was on Facebook by my friend, Frances Caballo.  I’m posting it because I like it but also as a reminder to those of you who would like to submit to my next anthology with the theme Choices. Short stories and essays maximum word count is 2500. Poems about 20 lines or less. Due by August 1st this year.

On the menu of this blog there is a poetry contest page. I’m taking submissions for the contest until the end of the month, June.

I hope to publish the book by the end of 2014. I need time to put it all together unlike my recently published anthology, WRITTEN ACROSS THE GENRES which my amazing friend, Linda Todd, and I completed in about 3 months. That short time frame was too stressful. Please enter as soon as you can. The email to submit for the book is julainakatsbcglobaldotnet. I put the at and dot words to protect against spam. Substitute the symbols.

Quote from Wired for Story About Conflict

Lisa Cron, on page 129 in Wired for Story, talks about obstacles to block the protagonist’s goals . She states “Obstacles mean nothing unless, beneath the surface, the seeds of that conflict are present from the outset, as they begin pushing their tender shoots through the soil in search of the sun.”

I thought about my novel, Hada’s Fog, when I read that page. I have external and internal conflicts in the first couple of pages, but I’m wondering if I planted enough seeds for the underlying need. What Hada desires in the beginning, is different than what she thought she wanted or needed at the end. Hints for the reader to suspect that everything about Hada is not what it seems is something for me to keep in mind as I polish this last draft. Her complaints and internalizations might be a bigger mask than I intended.

Cron says on page 143, “The story must make complete sense without the reveal, but in light of the reveal, the story must make even more sense.”