Monday, February 13, 2012
Writing Outside the Box with Janice Hanna Thompson (and me)
Come to find out, I’m not as unique (read ‘crazy’) as I thought I was.
Last Wednesday I had the wonderful opportunity to spend about four hours with author Janice Hanna Thompson. If you don’t know, Janice is the author of the Weddings By Bella series and the Backstage Pass series. She’s published nearly eighty books, both fiction and nonfiction, throughout a wide variety of genres. Her newest fiction endeavor is a historical novel that takes place on the ill-fated Titanic.
She’s also known as a wonderful presenter and her website is evidence of her teaching skills. Check out her writing helps at www.janiceathompson.com/blog
So, how are the famous Janice Thompson and the infamous Pepper Basham similar minds? ;-)
We write in the spark of the moment.
It’s kind of like pantster with ADD. :-)
Janice has a whole presentation about it and she’s going to be featured on The Writers Alley soon to explain it, but here’s the gist:
Within the first chapter of a novel, Janice goes through and looks at hints she’s written that foreshadows scenes for the future. Then, with the spark of creativity fired up from her first chapter, she writes on the spark. She takes those bits of scenes and writes them out. They don’t have to be chronological.
She writes out the scenes and then, like a master puzzler, goes back and pieces the story together.
Now, why is this interesting?
I do the SAME thing!
It was the first time I’d discovered someone else whose brain works like mine. I know, poor Janice, right? (All of you Alley Cats will know how to pray for her now ;-)
What is good about this style of writing?
- Instead of sloshing through the dull parts (like we have fifty pound turkey’s on each foot), we get to jump from one creatively active scene to another
- Gives the writer a sense of forward motion
- Fits the strengths of a writer who has mental ADD and needs continual mental activity
What might be some negatives of this style of writing?
- Finding momentum to go back and connect everything once you’ve finished
- Tricky puzzle piecing in the end :-) (This can be a pro instead of a con if you are like me…and like puzzles)
- May not suit different types of writer-brains.
I KNOW Janice will have a lot more to share (and in a much more refined way), but what do you think?
We’ve talked about writing styles before – what is your style? Do you ever incorporate some of these techniques or does this sort of writing style make you want to crawl up in a corner and weep?
Do you think it’s genre-specific or could it spread throughout all genres?
And THANK YOU, Janice for a FABULOUS evening. Not only were you extremely fun and generous, but you let me talk like a madwoman (and taught me so much through the process).