Attending the authors showcase at a local library yesterday was an exciting event. Friends of the Library, writers groups, local arts councils, big box retails and over 70 local authors were all present to make the day a roaring success. The project was partially funded by the Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. This means that “all hands were in” to sponsor this celebration of local acknowledgement of writing talent.
This brings up the question. Does anyone read anymore? Well, that question was quickly answered not only by the enthusiastic turnout of independent authors but the presence of internationally known author, Sylvia Day. She flew in from England to attend the event. She was warmly received by the general public and authors as well. Her gracious attitude extended not only to greeting her fans at a book signing but offering “inside” information on her extremely successful career.
From her point of view, writers and authors are divided into two categories – plotters and prancers. A plotter outlines the book in every aspect before the writing begins. Each chapter is outlined with a storyboard approach. The paragraphs are detailed and “bullet” statements are used to determine each step that each character will take in their development. A graph may be used to outline how each character interacts with the others. This process is continued until the entire story is complete and the ending is known and written – on the storyboard.
The prancer writes in a totally different fashion. This writer imagines ideas of the story and has vague images of how the plot will develop with only a simple knowledge of each character. As the “prancer” approaches the task of authoring a story, they let each character develop their own style. The writer is simply seen as a “tool” that the characters use to tell their story. It is as if the author is only needed to sit in the chair and move their fingers over the keyboard so that the characters can get their story put down on paper.
Life often reflects these writing styles. Some people need to plot out their every move, must know every option, look at every pathway before making decisions in their life. Others, simply wake up each day and have no idea what lies ahead of them – they just do what comes their way – what feels good.
I guess the key is to first decide which kind of “writer” you are in life and then design your life or just take life as it comes…