The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, September 24, 2012

Three approaches to writing--and life

Recap: The three basic approaches:
1) Start at the beginning and work to the end.  This is the typical approach
2) Start with “the end in mind.”   Write the last chapter or scene, and then align everything else to lead up to it and reinforce the meaning of these last images.  This is what Margaret Mitchell reportedly did with “Gone With The Wind.”
3) Simply make notes here and there, adding scenes, dialogue, description and what not as the ideas come to you.   Writing programs like “Scrivener” make this approach a joy.

Note that this relates to three basic ways of approaching life.
1) Most people just get up every day, work it, do what is directly on their plate, without strategic thought about their future actions.
2)  Goal-setting is the single easiest way to increase efficiency.  Just knowing where you’re going increases momentum and decreases wasted movement.   If you add alignment of values and beliefs, wow!
3)   This approach can be the most advanced.  Assuming you have internalized your basic structure, and have experienced the full flow-through of a project from beginning to end often enough to have it at the level of “unconscious competence” it is possible to live life just moving from one interest to another, with “work” replaced by fascination, and completed projects almost creating themselves.

Do you use one of these, or a combination?   Have I omitted one? What do YOU do?


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