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In This issue... The Fiction Writing Process - by Bruce L. Cook


Bruce L. Cook

The Fiction Writing Process 

How do you approach writing fiction, chapter to chapter? .... (continued below)
The Fiction Writing Process
by Bruce L. Cook

How do you approach writing fiction, chapter to chapter?

Many readers suspect that fiction writers begin with a total operational plan. A chapter outline with background, character, conflict and resolution all worked out.

But this approach can lead to tinker toy results, just a scaffold where the pieces have been forced into a modular pattern.

Think instead of a description left in the recent work, "The Messy Lives of Book People" by Phaedra Patrick. In Chapter 13 a successful novelist dies, and her assistant takes over writing her last book. In the process, the assistant finds the novelist's account of the writing process, which may well reflect the process used by Phaedra herself.

"I place myself in my character's hands and think of their goals and motivations for the scene so I can draft out the action. It's like putting skeleton bones and vital organs in place. I can then flesh out the dialogue and sentences forming the muscles and veins. Other than that, I don't plot. I let the story take me on a journey."

For me, this account describes the ideal process. After all, what could be smoother than writing where the characters take the lead. The writer acts like a coach or mentor, simply leading the story where it needs to go. Naturally the writer is always in charge, leading the story according to plans made along the way. But nothing in the process is artificial or forced, and this bring the reader along like a puppy on a leash.

Haven't we all had occasions where our writing takes over and our fingers just move on their own? At the end of a writing session, we look back like someone outside of ourselves, amazed at what came out. And then, after the white heat of creativity, we go back and "fix" the inevitable errors, happy with a new collection of dialogue and sentences which constitute the results we desired. That way we lead that reader puppy right along!

--Bruce Cook, Publisher, Reservebooks.com https://mailchi.mp/99d1e7bd4a6a/the-fiction-writing-process https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/writing-fiction-process-bruce-cook


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Publishing New Writers,

September, 2022 (vol. 23, no.9)


Dr. Bruce L. Cook
1407 Getzelman Drive
Elgin, IL 60123

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