Purple Prose + Novel

Guest Post: Write the Way You Want

I asked super busy author Elana Johnson if she was interested in sharing a writing tip. Obviously the answer is yes (otherwise I wouldn’t have mentioned it to you). *grins*


Okay, so I know there’s a lot of conflicting advice out there. You should outline! You’ll never be able to write a coherent book without a 30-page outline!

Or maybe you’ve read Don’t outline! It stifles the creative energy!

I’ve even read Outline a little bit, but then allow yourself to deviate from that outline. And The Three-Act Structure is the only way to produce books. And If you don’t know everything about your character, you’ll never be able to write a believable book.

I’ve been reading industry blogs for years. I think I’ve read it all. I used to work myself into a panic because I didn’t outline. I didn’t allow myself creative freedom. I didn’t use character sheets. And it paralyzed me. I couldn’t write.

Because I thought I didn’t know how.

But the truth is this: You should write in whatever way works for you. Need an outline? Write and use an outline? Need a character profile? Create one. Use it. Love it. Refer to it.

Don’t need those things? No problem. Write the way you want, the way you’ve found works best for you. If you don’t know what works best for you, you just need to keep writing. The more you write, the easier you’ll be able to see what methods work for you—and which ones don’t.

Writing takes courage. Be brave enough to learn and use the methods that work for you. Discard the rest.

So, how do you write best?

(Elana would cringe if she saw how much pre-planning I’m doing for my YA horror novel thanks to John Truby’s book, The Anatomy of Story. My CP certainly is.)

If you haven’t checked out Elana’s book, Possession, well, why haven’t you? It’s great. I’m looking forward to the sequel next year.

Goodreads: Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

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Guest Post: Write the Way You Want + Novel