I notice that I’m seeing vast differences between my process for writing Do Better, which is a nonfiction work, and those processes for my fiction. While I’ve always considered myself a “plotter” due to my meticulous outlining process for articles and nonfiction books (as seen in today’s earlier post, for example), and my plot outlining process for Who By Fire, I’m realizing that what I thought was “pantsing,” as I wrote Ann & Anna off the top of my head each week, was really plotting, but just in my head. Why?
Because the history of one of our Anna’s, Anna Marie Weems, is already well known. Not to mention that:
That meant that I really only needed to imagine the scenes as they fit into a time frame that I already knew, with characters that I already knew, since I know the other protagonist very well. Having grown up with Methodist church hymns swimming in my head from my youngest days, writing this story was like going back to a home I’d always wanted to leave, but could never really get away from, until I wrote it down in the form of Willow’s story, as she escapes with Anna. Obviously I had to tweak the history just a little, but not too much. It’s quite a different process from either a nonfiction book, or even my much more complex historical fantasy novel, Who By Fire, whose characters I am still getting to know, as I continue to flesh out the plot, having charted this plot & subplot scene timeline nearly two years ago.
But I do have one note: I will never again work on two, let alone three, different books simultaneously!
The overall objective of this novel, Who By Fire: I Will, as part of Project Do Better, remains that of putting a floor on poverty so that each and every baby born can have a safe childhood.
1.) Share some ideas you may have on how writing can help to solve homelessness and child abuse, starting right now,
2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those sources and your thoughts.
Click here to read, if you like:
Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following #Project Do Better on Twitter.
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.