I love how every book finds its way. I have writing friends who won’t start a story until they know the ending. Many of these “plotters” plot out their entire books, outlining each chapter, every scene. Other writers, the “pantsters,” write by the seat of their pants, unaware of what lies ahead in plot and resolution. Most of the time, I think I fall somewhere in between. Like a plotter, I’m uncomfortable not knowing where a story is heading. I can’t visualize and build to a climax. But I’m just as uncomfortable writing without the surprise and discovery of a pantster.
LARGER-THAN-LIFE LARA “came” like no other book I’ve written. I woke at 3 am and could hear a tough kid saying: “This isn’t about me. This story, I mean. So already you got a reason to hang it up.” I knew enough to get out of bed and write. With no idea of the plot, I felt I knew this strong, defensive kid who would tell me LARA’s story, but didn’t want to tell me hers. Each morning I couldn’t wait to write and see what would happen next. I was two chapters into it before I realized the subtle theme of bullying inherent to the story. I was over halfway through the book when I realized the narrator, who was learning how to write, was teaching the reader everything I know about writing a story. I had to go back and label chapters: Character, The Beginning, A Frozen Moment, Setting, Opposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, etc.
Which kind of writer would you be?