Plotting Vs Organic Writing.

I recently read another authors blog post about whether he meticulously plots out the events of his work (he does) or lets it flow naturally.  He stated that he has experimented with both styles and decided that Plotting worked better for him.  I find myself to be a more organic writer.

When I really began to consider ‘The MisEducation of A Minor‘ a serious project, I sat down and outlined the events of the story. At the time the project was titled ‘Legacy’ and was intended to be a one-off engagement.  I went through the chapters that I had written and meticulously outlined exactly what actually happened, taking care to highlight what I found to be the poignant moments.  Then life happened and I ended up taking a break from both Legacy and writing in general.

Last year the untimely death of my computer and the miraculous salvation of my hard drive, prompted me to get back into writing and Legacy.  I reread what was written and then checked with my trusty road map (read outline) to see where I intended for the story to go and I attempted to start writing again.  As a person I was in a much different place than I was when I started working on it and immediately my writing started to reflect that.  For me it was very clear while reading to pin point where I had stopped in the previous endeavor and where I  had attempted to dive back in.  Hopefully after a few editing miracles, it wont be so obvious to everyone else.

I also noticed that although my outline had everything happening in One story, there was just too much adventure and too much emotion to convey for  it to be tied up neatly at the end of any book that didn’t border on the love child of the King James’ version of of the bible and War and Peace, ie clearly not one book, so I began to adjust my outline to reflect the new nature of the project.  And that was about the time when the outline lost all purpose as a writing tool for me.

My characters started to really speak to me and tell me about events in their lives that they felt needed to be told and people that needed to be a part of the story.  Three characters in particular from the very first chapter of the first book were not intended to be seen again.  They were each meant to be a simple one dimensional look at Lee’s past.  Just a footnote in his history.  While each of these characters plays a much more substantial role in Lee’s life, one character in particular has proven themselves to be so important that the entire world and possibly the universe must stand up and take notice of the repercussions.   In the first book alone, several very prominent characters were created after my hiatus.  Ford, for all who have read the book, being the most note worthy.  His appearance has literally changed the entire outlook of the series.

I find that every time I attempt to plan out the events of the upcoming chapters, even in little ways like picking the title, I almost never seem capable of following that plan.  Back in late January early February, I noted that I had written myself into a corner regarding book 2, I solved the problem but it wasn’t until I started writing this that I realized the issue was that I tried to plot.  I had a direction I wanted a specific character to go in and an arc I wanted him to follow and he essentially told me to ‘shut up, go sit in THAT corner and write’.  And so I did and several new characters arose to rectify my perceived pickle.

One of my Content Editors was severely T’Oed when she read the wall I ran into.  And luckily completely relieved and intrigued by my solution.  But there most definitely is an evil underbelly to forgoing plotting.   When you  are running full steam ahead while trying to wall paper the room as you go occasionally you miss a spot.  That is why I am so lucky to have such a great editing team.  They ask me questions about things that I wouldn’t have seen as being even the slightest bit unclear.  For instance, during the series Ford buys a birthday present for Lee.  Quite simply during the course of writing the chapter, i never got around to deciding what the present actually was.  During our discussion she helped clarify how quite divergent inferences could be gathered from that simple exchange.

So I guess when it comes to writing I am team ‘Go Green!’.  when it comes to foods I’d rather save the dollar and acknowledge that whatever damage inorganic food was going to do to my body was done already when I was in my more formative years.


Now we edit our faces off.

JUST just put the last period on the last sentence of the last chapter in Pandemonium Justified.  I’m super excited to be done with this portion of the project.  It’s definitely been a long journey for me personally and I am super excited to be able to say that I have completed this.  It took a little longer than I originally anticipated but that time gave me and the characters a chance to develop into something unique and different.  I will keep you all posted on the progress of editing and formalization of the finished product.  My original goal was to have it in print by now actually but my new more realistic goal is to have it out by my birthday APRIL 21 or there abouts. Thanks to everyone involved in helping me achieve my dream.  

-Manny L Birch


Free Promo Weekend

Hey Friends if you haven’t already checked it out and gotten your copy Now is a great time check out my book The MisEducation of A Minor by Manny L. Birch. It is Free this weekend.  As always comments are always welcome.  Reviews are also welcome.  Thanks folks and have a good weekend

SMFTM Singles Run The World

Run The World

“…We run this mother…” Jade sang as she stretched in the training room.

“…lies…” Lee interjected. “PS what did my buddy get you for main chick day?”

“What is main chick day?”

“Johnny!” Ford scolded.

“What you wouldn’t tell me. What type of shenanigans is that?”

“That’s not what I’m talking about and you know it.”

“Dude, you know and I know and she knows that the rest of this statement doesn’t apply to you, so relax.”

“If this…”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah.”

“Alright now that you two have worked that out. What is main chick day?”

“It is the sacred Cupid holiday that proves that that song is a lie”

“Are you talking about Valentine’s day?”

“Yup yuppers.  In Cupid circles it’s known as main chick day. Also in parts of the hood or so I’m told.”

“You have never even been near the hood.”

“Lies.  My mom was a cop in New York City” Lee said with a fake Southern accent while clutching a pair of imaginary pearls.  “And my daddy loves a brown woman.  You can only NYU girls for so long before you decide to see what is happening up at Colombia.  And Colombia my friends is firmly in Harlem despite what the admissions advisors will tell you.”

“Whatever how does that holiday prove the song is a lie?” Jade responded.

“Well, for the same reason that my big buddy here was afraid of me explaining this to you.  Because the very nature of that name and the acceptance of it means you acknowledge the potential existence of other less important women.  Now you are a respectable girl so the big guy was home before I was but I’m one hundred and two percent sure he at least got to a respectable girl second base.  Possibly third, I didn’t ask.  And I think you are one of the few girls who uses the day as a chance to advance an already progressing relationship.  The two and a half dates I had that night weren’t nice respectable girls.  Nor were any of them my exclusive girlfriend who I had been dating for months.”

“What about Tibet? You saw her that night.  And who were the other two?” Jade interjected.

“A gentleman never kisses and tells but a friend does put you on game. Tibet was the half. I would have gone out with her but she told me she didn’t do Valentine’s day so what’s a guy to do right.  Find that chick from the pizza shop, I’m pretty sure I got us free slices for at least the next couple months.  And then get back to the building and get ambushed by a young lady who shall remain nameless. Best ambush ever ps.”

“If it was Ryan you and I are going to fight” Jade said moving to a different stretch.

“No not Ryan, I believe she was off explaining to my brother why you shouldn’t date me in girl form.”

“Right.  It’s so weird.”

“You guys are nothing alike.  She is awful and I genuinely like you.”

“That’s cus you are my friend.  You chose me over her.  Did you think she was awful prior to me and her breaking up?”

“I don’t know… I mean…”

“You didn’t, neither did I.  …Cus honestly she turned out to be the…” Jade looked up confused as he started singing

“…Best thing I never had…” Ford joined in harmonizing with him.  Jade laughed as they continued to sing the song.

“I tell you Karma is a comedian.  And I can feel a real funny ass joke coming her way.” Lee said as they settled down a bit.  “But both of my side chicks knew I was sort of kinda dating Tibet.  And they both literally verbatim said ‘then where is she?’ to which I replied fair point so let’s go find out what your lip gloss taste like.  The pizza shop chick actually started singing lip gloss by Lil mama.  I damn near fell in love.”

“Yeah that’s the some deep intense love there buddy.  You can’t even remember her name.”

“Sahara.  But the point is I don’t have to. She didn’t ask anything of me before she was willing to give me her.   She doesn’t know anything about me but what I look like and that I go to school up here.”

“Well maybe she is trying to get pregnant by a guy like you so she can change her station in life. Did you ever think of that?”

“Station in life?  Go outside and look around sweetheart.  There are no tracks that run through this town.”


“There is no bad side of it.  God forbid a lower middle class couple moves in to the neighborhood.  The town pushes the lynch mob button. But she is a smart girl who works to save for college I doubt she would want to railroad those plans with a potential pregnancy to a kid who may not want kids and could freak and drag her to a clinic or hell push her down the steps.  Plus this is not the town for stupid pregnancies.  There are too many men who are too powerful to have babies by accident.   Like I’m not sure everything that goes into it but there aren’t that many women in this town who could carry a baby of mine or his to term.  You happen to be one of them.  But never fear my dear, he would literally kill me if you turned up with a brown little boy with gray eyes.”

“While that is good to know, none of that explains why the song is a lie?”

“Because real g’s move in silence like lasagna.”

“Really little Wayne?” Ford asked.

“Shut up you know the quote. But what I am saying, when you all actually ran the world Madams controlled the underworld and wives controlled the White House. Tell me two things you know that either Mrs. Bush did. Don’t worry I’ll wait.  Mrs. Obama has a nice side project but if she had the kind of power that women used to have her husband would be skating by on some we aren’t really racist cover up.  Oprah has you all fooled.  Yeah, she says jump and half the audience lands in a new car, but she is the exception not the rule.  There are more female valedictorians every year in this country than males but you won’t see me shaking my ass in a Walmart.  You guys gave up your power a long time ago, when you forgot coy kept him on the hook and quick moves him on to the next.  So that is why that song is a lie.  Cus you all forgot that playing dumb was just that play.  So who run the world?  I will” Jade sat down flat looking dumbfounded as Lee and Ford started doing laps.

Run the World by Beyonce

Manny L. Birch (author)