How do you write? In other words, what is your writing style?
To write consistently, an author needs to understand how they go about the process of writing a story.
I’m what’s known as a pantser. That means I write by the seat of my pants. My story ideas start out with a beginning and an end. What happens in the middle is totally up to my characters and sometimes, they surprise me!
The other style of writer is the plotter. A plotter is someone who knows every detail, every twist and turn and every red herring before they put the first word on a page.
The end result is the same. Both pantsers and plotters are capable of writing intricate stories with well developed characters and intriguing plots that don’t have the dreaded sagging middle.
But whether you’re a pantser or a plotter, the goal is to get the story on the page. I know many talented writers who have wonderful ideas but who cannot get them on a page because they fixate on perfection.
Instead of expecting a perfect first draft, I write in layers. I write the first chapter which will include the setup and the introduction of the main characters and the initial conflict. In addition, I include the dialogue and minor description. In essence, I get the story on the page. Then I go back and describe and add more detail. After writing 2500 words or so, I will then revise, layering in more description and tweaking the dialogue. I might have thought of something that will add a little twist the plot so I add this.
At the end of my book, I put it aside for several days and then revise with fresh eyes.
After that, I enlist the help of a critique partner who helps polish my manuscript. Critique partners are also great sounding boards when working out plot points or when your characters run away with your story.
Editors are busy people who don’t have time for a manuscript filled with grammatical errors and typos. With the sheer volume of books being published right now, authors must, must, must perfect manuscripts. Writing in layers will help you submit a clean, impressive submission.
DEBRA GLASS is the author of over fifteen books of historical and paranormal romance, non-fiction, and folklore. The recipient of the National Society of Arts and Letters Alabama Screenwriter Award, she went on to win the NSAL Empire State Award for excellence in screenwriting. She received nominations as favorite erotic romance author with two of her books earning nominations as best erotic historical romance of 2009 from The Romance Studio. Two of Debra’s historical romances are currently finalists in Romance Writers of America’s Passionate Ink contest for published authors.
Debra is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Professional Authors’ Network, and Passionate Ink. She is also a member of RWA's Heart of Dixie chapter. She lives in Alabama with her real life hero, a couple of smart-aleck ghosts, and a diabolical black cat.
For more information about Debra and her books, click HERE