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QUESTION: Dorothy,

I am so excited for the idea I have for my novel, but I feel like my storytelling is terrible. Every time I write, I don't really feel connected to my character. Her actions and thoughts are mostly what I type out, but nothing seems to flow. I feel stuck every time I write a sentence. I'm hoping that maybe you could share some of your experience with me and help me make my story more intriguing and easy to read so I can finally get to the exciting parts!! Also, I was wondering, how do you usually get in the mode of creating a character that thinks for itself?

ANSWER: Hello Stephanie,

I will answer this by sending you a long paragraph or two about the way I write and how my characters fill themselves out:


I have to begin with an idea or a question. I have to have an era, a place, and a setting. I have to know my first character. Then I sit down at the computer and I type a sentence. And I type another. Perhaps these two sentences are not very good, but I continue typing on and on without stopping. This exercise releases your creative mind and gets you out of the "editing" mind or into the right brain and out of the left. My characters come as they are needed. They simply show up and they tell me who they are and what part they are to play. I allow them to help me write the story. And here is the most important thing I do. I do not edit, correct, re-write, polish, or even consider doing these things until I have a complete, rough draft of my entire novel. I only read back to ascertain continuity, not to evaluate. Occasionally I feel the story going astray and I have to get back on track. Sometimes the going astray is where the story really needs to go and I go with it. It becomes a matter of "feel". Often I do not know what scene will be next or how the plot will develop or how the book will end until I get there or almost there. I have to trust my creative mind to lead me. It has never failed me. I also never allow anyone to read the story or any part of it until I have completed at least two rewrites. This method keeps the zest in the story for me andmy characters real and alive.
Now to the rewrite process. This is where I restructure, cut and paste, delete, add, work for continuity, clarity and correctness. I do as many as 8 or 10 rewrites before I am totally satisfied that I have made it as balanced as possible.
I suggest you try this and see how you go. This may work for you as it does for me, or it may not. You may need to do the outline procedure. (I never use outline and could not if I wanted to.)
Keep me posted and let me know if you are making progress.
Happy writing,
Dorothy


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Dorothy,
It's me again. Thank you for the advice. I found the part about "going astray" very helpful. I began writing without a care in the world. It really helped. I simply ignored anything that made me think I was doing a poor job. Do you come up with exciting grabbers when you're writing the beginning, or when editing. My beginning is not very intriguing.
Thanks!

Answer
Hi Stephanie,

I come up with exciting grabbers when they are needed. I don't try to get them. They just happen. My characters do the wildest things without me even planning for it. I really don't try at all for anything. I get into the right brain zone and let it do all the creative work and I just type.  Sometimes I gasp or laugh at what comes.  My editing phase is to clarify, make consistent, edit grammar and punctuation, paragraph structure, try to make the sentences balanced and easy to read, check overuse of certain words...all the left brain work. I know this won't work for everyone, but I cannot think of another way that I could write.

Best wishes,
Dorothy

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Dorothy K Morris

Expertise

I can answer questions about writing fiction, creating characters and re-writing. I cannot answer homework questions.

Experience

I am a published author of nine novels in The Mockingbird Hill Series.

Organizations
National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, NSDAR

Publications
NOVELS in the MOCKINGBIRD HILL SERIES: SECRET SINS OF THE MOTHERS, COYOTES OF CREEK CROSSING, THE EIGHTH EVIL, THE TIME IN BETWEEN, DIRTY RICE, TALLY'S NOOK, FROM THE FAR PLACES, NATURE OF THE BEAST, (THE RANKS OF THE INSANE (to come out summer 2016))

Education/Credentials
Studied writing at at American University in DC

Awards and Honors
Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in The World, Who's Who in America.

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