Is there one right way to write?

The weather hasn’t been cooperating too well, but I still managed to get a few shrubs planted between rain showers earlier this week. One was an old favourite – Pieris Japonica ‘Flaming Silver’. It’s a variegated version of several other pieris that have grown well here through the years.

In our moderate climate it’s evergreen. The first growth in springtime is its flowers… panicles of small creamy white ones that dangle an enticing fragrance. Soon new leaves appear, but they are bright red for several weeks before mellowing to pink, then cream, light green, and finally settling in to their summertime hue of dark green.

This shrub obviously does things in reverse of the usual fall ritual when the chlorophyll in the green leaves of my Burning Bush shrub begins to degrade and the foliage changes to a fiery red for a few weeks before fluttering to the ground.

Does it matter whether the leaves begin red in spring, or finish red at the end of the season? Of course not. Neither is the only correct way. It’s what’s right for that particular plant. The different growth patterns of both still result in a gorgeous show of colour on healthy shrubs.

Can you guess today’s inevitable writing analogy?

However we write our novels – straight through from beginning to end, or creating the ending first and writing the rest of the story in scenes to fit it, whether pantsing or plotting, using the Hero’s Journey, Snowflake method or no method – it doesn’t really matter because once the story is complete, nobody will care how it came to be. They will only care that it is a beautiful story.

Do you have a system of writing that works especially well for you? How does it differ from what other writers might do, or from what you originally tried or were taught?



9 thoughts on “Is there one right way to write?

  1. Carol, thanks for the wonderful analogy and as always, great photos. I think there might be a general similarity of what some of use do … how we came up with the expression “Panster” or “Plotter.” Or do you think of the character first and then the plot? As you pointed out so well, there is no right or wrong way, just our way … and of course … what goes well, ends well 🙂

    • Carol says:

      In all of my novels but one, the main character came first. In the other one, a story gave birth to the character who would live it. It’s no wonder we don’t all have the same methods when one writer isn’t even consistent!

  2. christicorbett says:

    I meander through my pages, picking a few words here to fiddle with, a few sentences there. Then, I reread, fiddle again. Repeat 🙂

    Christi Corbett

    • Carol says:

      That sounds like how I handle my ‘umpteenth’ revision! LOL! I’m chronologically linear when it comes to writing, and my first couple edit/revision sessions are straight through. But then I start meandering and fiddling, too. One of my problems is knowing when to stop the fiddling!

  3. Fiona says:

    I would say I’m pretty linear in my writing. I know some people can write different scenes and different chapters then put them all together later, but I think that would confuse me more than anything; plus I’d rather set the foundations for the story before I went and played around with structure etc. But I don’t think there is any one way to write, just like you said. Everybody has different methods – writing chronologically is mine! Another great post, Carol.

    • Carol says:

      Writing chronologically is mine, too, as I’ve said to Christi. It may not result in a complex story, but I like writing the scenes as they play out in my mind… it’s a little like transcribing a video for me!

  4. S. Etole says:

    Such a beautiful plant. I’m not a writer, but I enjoy my visits here.

    • Carol says:

      Thanks, Susan. But anyone who has visited your blog would dispute your claim to not being a writer! The words you select to accompany your photography are indeed inspired!

  5. Nesi Writes says:

    I always love your posts–blending nature with writing. My system of writing is what I share with others when they inquire about the writing process. I tell them to “writing until you run out of gas. The molding, shaping, editing, etc. [each a different animal in and of itself] are given attention after that.

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