Monday, June 17, 2013

Writing Method is as Writing Method Does

By John W. Howell
As one of the newest authors to join the Martin Sisters Publishing team, I am very excited about the prospect of having my novel published under the MSP banner. The book is in the editing phase of production so the purpose of this post will be a little different than talking about the story line.
As a new author, I have frequently been asked about my writing method. Initially I took that question to mean; do I use a pen, pencil or some other method to get the words out of my head and down on paper or some other format? I think you can visualize the semi-stunned looks when I explained,“ I compose all my stuff on a computer using Word.” This response would be like a kid asking a parent where they came from and the parent giving an answer like “Philadelphia.”
I came to realize; interested people want to know how I construct a story, create the characters and then bring both to life in a written form. So let me give you a very brief overview of my writing method in six steps:
1.      I think of an idea of story line. This may be inspired by a conversation, a situation or an encounter.
2.      I write down the basic idea. I use my iPhone Notes section since I have it with me all the time.
3.      I take the idea and roughly construct an outline that is essentially a three act play; Act one introduces the characters and conflict, Act two brings intensity to the conflict and Act three is the resolution.
4.      I then outline each chapter with simple descriptions of what happens in that chapter including a timeline.
5.      I sit at the computer no less than four hours a day and fill in the details.
6.      I rewrite and edit until I think I have an acceptable draft

So that is my writing method which is not too complicated. I hope you found it helpful


  1. It's always interesting to see who outlines and who does not. I don't outline, but I do keep a lot of notes and a very basic timeline.

  2. Wow. That's a very nice and concise list. And it's pretty much what I do to.

  3. It's great to be able to compare your method with that of another writer. I know I am always curious as to the methods of others.