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Thursday 9 August 2018

✉ What Kind of Writer Am I? - David Allan Hamilton

Today author takes over our blog to tell us about what kind of writer he is.

His latest novel is The Crying of Ross 128 (, Tellwell Talent, 290 pages), a Science Fiction Novel.

"a great read for anyone who likes a science fiction tale told through the lens of real science." - Scott C.

"It's un-put-down-able!" -
Debbie B.

"What a fun read that was... I enjoyed it so much!" -
Jen M.

"Not sure sci-fi completely covers the fact it's a mystery thriller to boot! Can't wait for the sequel" -
S. Johnson

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Guest Post || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

What Kind of Writer Am I?

David Allan Hamilton

Dare I open up the debate about Planners versus Pantsers? Yes, I say, yes!

Actually, for me it’s not a debate at all. I am a planner. But I’m a planner with a caveat that I’ll get to shortly. First, I admit I wasn’t always a planner, no. I used to write by the seat of my pants, never sure where a story would end up and what my characters would do.

I first really became aware of this in high school when I wrote plays. I had ideas of what to write and what kind of characters I wanted, but I’d put them there on the (written) stage, throw one piece of meat in the middle of them all, and watch what happened. I had marginal success as a playwright back then, so there was no incentive to become a planner at all. Planning was for babies, I thought.

Later, I became more interested in short stories and novels. Well, there was no way I could tackle a novel so I’d write short stories by the seat of my pants. I can tell you that nothing remarkable came out of those attempts at all. I also found much enjoyment from writing poems, haiku, limericks by the seat of my pants. Because of this, I never really progressed as a writer for many years.

When I finally did attempt a novel, sometime in my twenties, I failed miserably, writing myself into a corner with characters that shape-shifted into all kinds of creatures. After investing time and effort to write 20,000 words or so only to have it all come crashing down, I knew I had to find a better way to take on this kind of project. So I applied what I’d learned in the corporate world about planning things out, having goals, breaking projects down into specific activities and so on.

The result of this was a method I use now where I plan out my stories from beginning to end, with twists, surprises, tension and so on, and I don’t begin writing until I’m happy that I actually have a story that will work. To be clear, planning a novel out like this does take time, but I know that if my plotting works, then my story is guaranteed to work. I’ll always know what my characters are up to, where they’re going, what their goals are and conflicts and so on.

The Pantsers will argue that planning everything out like this is too confining and stifles creativity. Stephen King is one of the more famous writers who mocks planners. Well okay, I’m not King and most of us are no where near the kind of writer or creative that he is. So I have to stick with what works for me.

I mentioned I’m a planner but with a caveat, and here it is: although I plan out all my stories before writing, I maintain a lot of flexibility in what actually happens. For sure, my characters grow and change a bit over the course of the story, and feedback from my writers group also adds to the evolution of the story. If I was so bent on sticking to my original plan come hell or high water, I’d miss out on much of the joy of writing creatively. So I always tell myself that even though I have a road map to follow, I maintain the flexibility to change it if necessary along the way. It’s a process that works for me, and works well.
All actions have unintended consequences

The Crying of Ross 128
Available NOW!

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

Unknown said...

I enjoyed getting to know your book and thanks for the chance to win :)

david said...

Thanks Lisa!