Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wednesday Writing Workout: What's Your Writing Manifesto?

Last Friday, in honor of November being the month of NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo, I shared links to some articles/blog posts about how other writers approach their first draft. I was especially intrigued by a blog post by Shelley Moore Thomas, author of The Seven Tales of Trinket (Farrar, Straus Giroux), in which she describes using a writing "manifesto" as a springboard to her first draft.  She says:
"Before I even write a word:  I have a document (the manifesto) in which I write down all the dreams I have and ideas about the story.  This is a fun time, a time when I won't allow myself to  write the book because usually I am busy drafting or revising something else at the time." 
As soon as I read that, I decided I wanted to write my own manifesto for my next novel. Here's an excerpt from the three paragraphs I have so far:
I want this story to give readers a glimpse of what it feels like to be an outsider who is so desperate to fit in that she's willing to deny her own talents and gifts. . . .  Even though the story will be character-driven, I want there to be aspects of mystery and suspense as my character discovers not only how she received her special gift but also how she will comes to terms with figuring out whether/how to use it.  
Obviously, I have a lot of work to do yet to flesh out this manifesto. But the process of writing just a few paragraphs of it has made me excited to go deeper and think harder about both the character and her story.

Now it's your turn. For today's Wednesday Writing Workout, answer this question, either for a current work-in-progress, or a story you have yet to start: What's your writing manifesto?

In other words: what are your hopes and dreams for this story?
What type of structure/form will it take?
Who will you write it for?

I encourage you to go back and read Shelley Moore Thomas's post all the way through for inspiration, and also to do what she does: think of your manifesto as your "playground."

And remember: you'r not writing the story yet, you're writing about the story. Have fun!
Happy writing,


mary said...

I love this idea. I'm going to sit and write a manifesto for my WIP right now, even though I know it will be different than if I'd written it before I started writing.
Thanks Carmela

Beverley Baird said...

What a great idea! Love your manifesto - would love to read your book!

Pam said...

I'm participating in PiBoIdMo. However, I've been so busy writing papers for school. I decided that tonight I would begin and what do I see? This post. Oh how timely!!! Thank you so much. On my way to read Shelly's post. I'm so inspired. Thank you again.

Carmela Martino said...

Thanks for stopping by, Mary, Beverley, and Pam. I'm so happy to know that you found this idea as inspiring as I did. And Beverley, thanks for saying you would love to read my book. Now I just have to write it! :-)