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Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Article - Writing Style by Patti Hultstrand

Writing Style by Patti Hultstrand

The most asked questions I receive as an author by readers and other authors alike is what is my style of writing? Do I have a preferred method of writing that works for me? Do I write an outline before I start writing? Or do I write out scenes and pull together the story later?

There is a short story, but I will tell you the longer one here.

About 6 years ago I had a near death experience that changed my life in many ways, one being that I knew it was time for me to write that story I had inside me; the one I started over 12 years before. The one I left to become an aged, yellow around the edges remnant of my dream of being an author since I was bit by the writing bug when I was in Jr. High.

Now, every author should know that writing is therapeutic for us, so as a means of therapy and the need to get that story out, I sat down one day in a September and wrote 296,000 words. It took six months and many nights with my computer, but when I was done, the story had become an epic love story that took place where East India is right now. The story spans centuries because the people involved are from different times and places. This story had become so much more and is now a possible twelve books or more and a time-travel romance. Why a romance? This story wouldn’t be what it is without the romance story between Tamea and Parker.

I had cut those 296,000 to make four books. After I started telling people that I had no real action plan for the story; no outline before or during the process; and I did not write scenes as they came to me, they told me how I should have written them. I began to wonder if I had done the wrong thing, because this process isn’t as easy as it sounds. I had found my beginning three-quarters of the way through those 296,000 words, and moved that segment to the front and had to rework the whole book. So, in retrospect, I had wondered if that style or process wasn’t the right way to do this.

For Book 5, I had tried an outline and then wrote those scenes as they came to me. It’s been years now, and that book isn’t done. It was and still is a mess.

So, when someone asks me what my process is with my writing I usually give them the short answer by telling them I take the advice that Ray Bradbury gave me back in 1985 when he said to just write the story, then edit, edit and edit, until the story is what it needs to be.

You can buy Patti's first book Time Conquers All with FREE shipping through the publisher website  or Amazon website, which will charge P&P.
Patti's next tour stop is with Cate Masters on June 11th
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