The Winnie-the-Pooh Method of Writing
This guest article by D.H. Parker might help you feel less guilt about your writing. I appreciate her sharing her thoughts with all of us. We all have our own methods and we need to embrace them and do the best that we can with them.
I recently re-read the original (as opposed to the Disneyfied) Winnie-The-Pooh and The House At Pooh Corner. I do that every now and then because I love teddy bears in general and Winnie-the-Pooh in particular. This time I discovered a curious and interesting thing:
I create my fiction like Pooh creates poems.
Fiction writers seem to divide into two main methods of creating. Either they plot out a story before they begin it, or they mostly don’t. I have yet to be able to plot out a book beforehand. I’ve tried more than once.
I figured it would save a lot of re-writing and agonizing over what happens next. So I tried agonizing over outlining instead–only to discover that the more I tried to outline, the less interest I had in the story. Maybe it’s lack of discipline. Maybe it’s just the way my mind is built.
But back to the Pooh method: In chapter Vlll of Winnie-The-Pooh, Pooh gets a sudden thought for a song. He has a first line, but can’t get any further. Nothing more would come.
“Very well, then,” he said, “I shall sing that first line twice, and perhaps if I sing it very quickly, I shall find myself singing the third and fourth lines before I have time to think of them, and that will be a Good Song.”
He did, and it was.
In Chapter ll of The House at Pooh Corner, Pooh asks for an opinion on a new poem.
“Do you like it, Piglet?”
“All except the shillings,” said Piglet. “I don’t think they ought to be there.”
“They wanted to come in after the pounds,” explained Pooh, “so I let them. It is the best way to write poetry, letting things come.”
Now I know. I create like Winnie-the-Pooh. If that means my brain is stuffed with fluff, so be it.