Dec 8, 2015

Trust Your Creative Voice

by Marsha Ward

Do you have days where you just want to crawl back into bed?

Me too!


I think because I'm getting over a nasty sinus infection, and because I got very little sleep last night, it's a case of both. I'll just have to go with that, and give you a writing tip.


The Creative Voice comes from the part of your brain that knows how to tell stories, as opposed to your Critical Voice, which keeps you out of danger by preventing you from writing, 'cause, you know, that's too dangerous!

If you detest outlining, here's a book that may just lift you up to the stars with elation: Writing Into The Dark: How to Write a Novel Without an Outline, by Dean Wesley Smith. Yes, I did write about this book before. But after reading it, I had a scare. I couldn't find it anywhere!

Fortunately, when I went to Amazon to order another copy (yes, that's how valuable I found the book to be), I discovered that since I had purchased the print copy, I could download the ebook free!


Two days ago, I looked at the bottom shelf of a bookcase from a different angle than usual, and discovered that my print copy had slipped off something and become lodged on the bottom shelf.


Now I'm re-reading the book, and I'm highlighting crucial points in bright pink, a practice I never allow myself, except, you know, in very important cases, this being one.

Okay, I'm done, and my bed looks better than ever.

But first, tell me: Do you have to outline before you write, or do you sit down and trust that your Creative Voice will lead you into a rip-snorting good tale?


  1. I tried outlining once, but then the story took off on its own and I forgot to look at the outline until I typed "the end." The difference between the outline and what I actually ended up with was hysterically funny when I compared the two. That was the first and last time I ever tried an outline. Just doesn't work for me. Thanks for the book suggestion, Marsha, I'll check this out!

  2. That's a good example, Joyce. Thanks for sharing!

  3. So far, I seem to outline, but I consider following it optional, especially if I think of better ideas in the middle. I will have a list of things that need to happen in a scene, but I will allow the characters to complete those things however they want, or in whatever order they want.

    1. Good for you, Michaela. If it works well, don't change it up, unless you're feeling adventurous . . . or are stuck.

  4. I have a central conceit...and that's about it. The rest is being written as it comes to my brain...or my heart, depending on who's in charge that day. Great post Marsha. I hope you got some rest! hugs

    1. Kari, that's a good way to write, if that's what works for you. I get a lot of joy out of writing into the dark. And I did get rested, thank you.

  5. I would imagine I would find it hard to write without at least a mental outline. That's how we do it in non fiction.

    1. Terri, when I write non fiction, I also need some sort of structure, but fiction is a whole different animal! When I trust my creative voice, my fingers just fly on the keyboard. It's very freeing.

      Thanks for commenting!


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