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The forward and backward writing process

Cheryl's Musings: The forward and backward writing process

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road


The forward and backward writing process

Sometimes, I don't begin writing because I don't known where my story starts--or where its going--or exactly what threads of plot, character, setting, and theme I want to weave in along the way. Or what form to use. See, I like plans. I like to know my story's every detail before I actually sit down to write.

(This would explain why I consider two hours spent daydreaming in my big green chair today as work.)

And yet--at the same time--sometimes I can't know everything about my stories until I've written the first draft. The more I plan, the better that first draft will be; but sometimes I can't proceed with planning until I've started to write.

That's the case with the project I'm working on for the next two weeks. I know the main character, I know she deals with an eating disorder, but that's obviously not the whole story. People and their problems don't exist in a vacuum. They have lives, friends, families, circumstances that help and hinder their journeys.

I have the bare bones of a plot, but so far it feels...flat. I want to outline a better story before starting to write, but I might not discover the tale's flashier counterpart until AFTER I write.

I guess that's why writing--any writing--isn't a waste of time. Writing is thinking, processing, dreaming, and discovery. And that's what I need to do. On paper, as well as in my big green chair.

:) Cheryl

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At March 17, 2009 at 1:51 PM , Blogger Monica said...

Hi Cheryl!
This is Monica. I'm an ESL teacher and I'm interested in following your blog. I'm teaching an intermediate advanced reading and writing class. I'm planning to display some of your ideas on the process of writing in one of my classes. I hope you don't mind.
One of my dreams is to become a writer...but I need to learn so many things'll be nice to learn from you. Greets!

At March 17, 2009 at 2:04 PM , Blogger Cheryl Reif said...

Hi Monica--Thanks for stopping by! You can't imagine how happy you've made me by asking to share my writing thoughts with your class. I'd be honored!

As for dreaming about being a writer looks to me like you already are a writer. Writing is a journey, but you've definitely stepped onto the road. Thanks for stopping by :-) Cheryl


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