Monday 15 April 2013

Dr. Heather Manley – How to Write by the Seat of Your Pants

How to Write by the Seat of Your Pants: Outline or No?

by Dr. Heather Manley

One of the very first writer’s conference I attended, I was in a class with a successful teen genre author. The first thing he told us was to write, and then write some more and continue to writing until the story was complete. He advised not to look back but to get everything down on paper because you can always edit.

To me, this meant, writing by the seat of my pants.

At first I wasn’t so sure about this style as in school we learn about the importance of an outline. Therefore, I decided to combine both approaches. I will spend some time, not much though, jotting down exactly I want to write about: specific adventure, interesting vocabulary words, character personalities and then I will just begin writing. This is liberating and the perfect way to let my brain juices flow in a creative way.

At times my first draft ends up being twice as long as the final draft; however, every moment in the journey feels needed to allow the ideal story to emerge. In essence, it is important to go with what feels right for you but listening and experimenting with other peoples’ techniques may be a perfect addition to your writing style.

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Genre - Children’s (G)

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A little bit more about Dr. Heather:

Dr. Heather Manley, who in 2001 received her medical degree from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, is a practicing physician whose primary interest is preventative healthcare for families. She is the author of the award winning Human Body Detectives, her children’s educational adventure series of story-telling books, eBooks, and iPhone/iPad apps.  She also promotes wellness and naturopathic healthcare on her website She lives on the Big Island of Hawaii with her husband and two daughters, and is currently at work on the next Human Body Detectives adventure.

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