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Phy

Jk Rowling's Eight Rules For Writing

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These are spectacular. In the past I've been a Pantser who sneered at structure as a general rule, but I'm beginning to come around. I've seen some of Rowlings' structure worksheets - they're amazing. This is something I'm working on now.

 

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Rule Two

You’ve got to work. It’s about structure. It’s about discipline.

It’s easy to forget that writing is a job.

We don’t always feel like doing our job. We certainly don’t always feel inspired. To be writers, we must train ourselves to sit down and write even when we don’t feel like it.Those moments are the ones that really matter, even more than the shining, flying, writing moments.

The muse works for you. You don’t write at her beck and call—you train her to show up when you’re writing.

 

 
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"You’ve got to work. It’s about structure. It’s about discipline. "

 

...and of course I would read this just as I was about to give in and not finish my word goal today for NaNoWriMo... and I only have about 500 more words to go. Thanks for the kick in the pantser. I'm going to go back and finish them right now:)

Edited by Cathy7
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3 hours ago, Cathy7 said:

...and of course I would read this just as I was about to give in and not finish my word goal today for NaNoWriMo... and I only have about 500 more words to go. Thanks for the kick in the pantser. I'm going to go back and finish them right now

 

You can do it!

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This is the hardest rule to me.  I seem to find everything and anything to do instead of write.  And I'm glad I read this today because I must get back to my rewrite.  Thanks Phy for posting this.

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I just read this list of rules that you posted. 

Hmm. . . Tough stuff. As someone now who writes primarily for pleasure, I don't struggle with the "I've gotta right, I've gotta right" voice very much (except on some projects, or in an abstract way; writing isn't my job). But the part about being willing to hit wrong notes . . . I think I find it harder to admit I have initially, but when time passes, I see it more clearly. 

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On 11/7/2017 at 5:58 PM, Lost Pathway said:

But the part about being willing to hit wrong notes . .

In music, we have this thing called 'sight reading'.  We aim to hit right notes.  We strive and practice to hit them. However, in the end, when the fingertips hit the keys, the goal is to produce an impression that hangs together as a whole.  Hitting the right notes must be flung out the window as a goal, otherwise they are actually the cause of destruction to the whole.  

Flinging wrong notes with abandon brings us nearer the sublime than a bunch of perfection.  Goodness, doesn't this sound like the Gospel?  

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Phy, can you tell me where to locate Rowling's structure worksheets?  I'm like you, a Panster who is seeing the advantage of working on structure BEFORE starting to write. 

 

Thank you so much for posting this!  I need all the help I can get!

 

Jadi

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10 hours ago, jadijohnson said:

Phy, can you tell me where to locate Rowling's structure worksheets?  I'm like you, a Panster who is seeing the advantage of working on structure BEFORE starting to write. 


I found a link here. Rowling used something called 'series' instead of plot. That enabled her to keep track of ever more complex storylines in a table.

Quote


At the top of the outline, Rowling lists six series she’s developing:

  • Hall of Prophecy;
  • Harry’s feelings for Cho and Ginny;
  • the creation of both Dumbledore’s Army and the Order of the Phoenix;
  • Harry’s relationship with Snape; and
  • the mystery of Hagrid’s half-brother, Grawp.

Then Rowling writes the passage of time down the side of the outline (October, November, etc.).

Next, Rowling fills in the grid with the when and where each series comes into play.

Notice that she only uses the word “plot” once on the outline—as a label for the column where she’s weaving together the different series to create a cohesive narrative.

This grid not only allows Rowling to organize her story but also helps her track any particular issues within the narrative, such as a series dropping off the radar for too long or a series standing off by itself or a series repeating too much instead of developing.

 

 

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Thank you very much!  This seems helpful in keeping track of everything that is going on.  Since I'm mostly going through stories I've already written, this looks like something I can use.

 

Jadi

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