Posts tagged ‘characters’

December 4, 2013

Butcher, Baker, Candlestick-maker

by limebirdster

I stumbled across a talk by Michael Morpurgo a few years ago, I only caught the last five minutes and the questions at the end but the part that I heard was about how he loved coming up with ideas. Creating characters and universes and planning what was going to happen. And that bit’s the fun bit. Then you get to the hard part and have to write it down. It stuck in my head because of how much I agree with him, creating things and imagining things are so much easier than putting words on paper.

Though, of course, many people would disagree. Joshua Wolf Shenk said “Get through a draft as quickly as possible. Hard to know the shape of the thing until you have a draft. Literally, when I wrote the last page of my first draft of “Lincoln’s Melancholy” I thought, Oh, shit, now I get the shape of this. But I had wasted years, literally years, writing and re-writing the first third to first half. The old writer’s rule applies: Have the courage to write badly.”
He just wants to get to the blank page and, as Ernest Hemmingway said, Bleed on it. His theory seems to be that you can’t know where you’re going until you’ve got there.

So that’s kind of the pantsers and the planners, the ones who want to write and the ones who want to think about what they’re writing. And I always thought that those were the two groups. You’re in one or the other, whether that’s a strong affiliation or not, but there isn’t really an alternative camp to be in.

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