INTUITION VERSUS PLANNING

Blogging Insights # 43 —A Writer’s Intuition

“Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.” — Ray Bradbury

I hate to always be the one who says “both” to yes/no questions, but writing isn’t an “either/or” process. It’s never “yes” or “no.” Intuition gets you started and maybe gives you the outline of a plot. After that, the real work starts.

All writing of more than a few thousand words needs a story, even non-fiction. You need to know where the tale will take you. Where you are starting physically (the place, street, house, language, etc.) and emotionally. You need at least a sketchy plot and something a backstory. If you don’t know the exact ending, you should at least have a mental snapshot of where you expect to end.

If you’re setting a story in a real-world city, you need to do enough research to describe the place. Even if you are setting it in a place that doesn’t exist, you need to do some world-building so it feels real to readers.

Writing is communication. It’s not about you. It’s about your readers and their imagination. It’s drawing your readers into your tale. Writing is communication. Your writing involve readers in your story. Your intuition may tell you to write, but your brain needs to engage too. Every writer I follow who has offered a view of their “process” does a huge amount of planning before they start writing. The concept may be intuitive, but process is work.

Writing — other than short blogs — needs a plot. A beginning, middle, and end. Intuition will get you started, but the rest is determination, patience, editing, re-editing, then doing it again until you get it right.



Categories: Anecdote, Literature, perspective, story, Words, Writing

Tags: , , , , ,

11 replies

  1. I totally agree. Intuition tells me a lot of things, but many ideas never get developed. Some would take up time I can’t seem to find. Others lack a clear ending. Two stories I posted this month took a long time to reach SERENDIPITY. The Departure was an idea running around for a year or more, but nothing was written until now. A Change of View was written years ago but saw some heavy editing and a posting this year. Writing can be fun but usually it is work too.

    Like

    • I often take a long time to finish a story. Sometimes it’s because I’m not sure I should post it at all. Is it too negative? OR sometimes, I don’t like it quite enough. And sometimes, I don’t feel I’m ready to post it. Endings can be difficult. I’m always looking for the right ending … and often, I’ve already written it. What I need to do it find it and delete everything that came after it. One way or another, you really have to engage your brain.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That is a well balanced post and really good writing advice, especially the last paragraph.

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    • Too many people take advice like that as a reason to not bother to do anything — like EDIT, Considering what a skilled author Bradbury was, I’m sure he didn’t mean intuition was the whole thing.

      Like

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