1. Credulous Skeptic
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    Credulous Skeptic Member

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    A question

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Credulous Skeptic, Oct 27, 2009.

    It is true that writers are born and not made, and that I myself have never been, and never will be, a writer. Now, despite this fact, I continue to type little paragraphs that lead nowhere, hoping that I can somehow become something that I am not.

    That was a bit of a rant. Now for my question: Do you create your plot in your head, or is it only fully realized as you type on the keyboard?
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Most of the time, I have a plot in mind. But it also changes as I type. Something I hadn't thought of before might get added, thus changing some of the plot elements.

    Sometimes, though, I do type random things which then lead to interesting ideas I can expand on.
     
  3. Mo Yeongsu
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    Mo Yeongsu Member

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    Are you asking whether or not writing is a talent or a skill? Because that seems to be what you are doing. If you truly want to be a writer then it takes dedication on some level regardless of your ability. If you do not have the talent to come up with a plot on command then you need not worry because the true worth of a writer is in their reading. The more you read and then the more you decide you want to write something the easier it will be. Reading gives you insight into what it takes to write. If you go through and look at any book you can dissect it and discover that it is as much a science as it is an art. You can break it down to its most basic plot of "boy meets girl" and then watch how everything added to it creates the real story. You look at how the gun on the shelf was mentioned so subtly a dozen times that you didn't register until the protagonist picked it up to shoot in the final moment of the book. You'll start to notice how it was all woven together so nicely as you separate it piece-by-piece. Re-read something you've read a dozen times and take it apart and then you'll start to understand that anyone can put a winning plot together with enough dedication.

    The same applies to the actual writing, but, in my opinion, that takes a whole lot more work to master if you don't already have a certain spark for it. I could be wrong, though.
     
  4. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I know the beginning, some of the middle, and the ending before I begin writing a novel. However, and there is never an exception, as I begin writing, I get new ideas, and the plot goes places I didn't expect. At times this completely alters the ending I had in mind.
     
  5. bruce
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    bruce Active Member

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    It is only fully realized as I type on the keyboard.
     
  6. tonten
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    tonten Senior Member

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    I think reading can only go so far as to give you the insight you need it takes to write. Reading and writing are very different things. A person can read hundreds of books and they still cannot write. It is practicing writing which furthers your ability to write.

    Reading does help, but only to a certain extent.


    This is the same for me as well. I have my books planned out, but it is when I start writing that the world/plot/characters fully develops. There is only so much planning you can do. Your story will not evolve until you actually write it.
     
  7. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    My stories have the bad habit of being unruly and will often stray from my original intent. In a way its why I like writing.
     
  8. CharlieVer
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    CharlieVer New Member Contributor

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    The plot is created in my eyes, then it passes through my head, through my heart, and ultimately comes out my fingers. When necessary, I pass my plot through my liver and pancreas.

    If you want to be a writer, you write.
    And then you write.
    And then you write.
    Over time, you develop the skills. No one is magically born a writer, nor is anyone's first sentence on paper ever a masterpiece of literary genius.

    Charlie
     
  9. Dermit
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    Dermit Member

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    For me, I generally start with a single idea, sometimes a simple "what if..." question, or an interesting concept that occurs to me. From there I come up with a first sentence, from there a first paragraph, from there a chapter, etc. I don't plot, I don't plan, I just spew out the story as it happens. After I've got it down, I'll take my time making sense of it. Usually there's more than enough to work with.

    In the end the plot peels like an onion, layer after layer, and when I'm finished I'm left with a big stinking mess which may or may not be edible. Sometimes you get a bad onion.

    But you never know what you'll find inside until you start chopping. That's at least half the fun.
     
  10. Sillraaia
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    Sillraaia Senior Member

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    A plot, in its entirety, can never be completely thought up before you begin writing. As you write your plot, you will come up with holes, and things that just don't work the way you expected them to, which changes things. Depending on how much things change, sometimes an entirely new ending is in order.
    The story I am writing right now has had 3 or 4 different endings, simply because they fit better. They were either more interesting, or the previous one just didn't work anymore.
    The ending I had planned at the start would have made for a more boring story, that's for sure. Twists and turns along the way keep the action going, keep the plot moving forward.
    For me, determining what a story needs and when is kind of like intuition. You just need to feel it. If something doesn't quite feel right - it probably isn't, and you need to rethink your reasonings. I have hit a couple of places where something about the plot just didn't feel right, even though I had no idea what was actually wrong - it took me a week to figure out the exact problem one time, whereas if I had just listened to my gut in the first place, and thought up a different solution, I'd have been done with it a lot sooner..

    Plots change as you write them. You never know what will happen until you sit down and see it. Your own mind can surprise you. :)
     
  11. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why is it important how other writers conceive and develop stories? My personal belief is that there are as many different approaches to developing stories as there are successful writers. The only thing they all have in common is that they start writing and at some point they finish writing. Everything in between reflects the personality, writing opportunities and self-discipline of the individuals. That said, I begin with a general concept that includes the basic plot, key characters and an initial conclusion that may or may not evolve during writing. I make a general outline which attempts to identify logical chapter breaks. Then, I begin writing in earnest. Taking one chapter at a time makes the task easy for me. I allow for deviations in the story...it's fun to indulge impulses to see where they lead. Eventually, I have too much material and then the editing begins. This is what works for me.
     
  12. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    In my head.

    Ninety percent of the time, when I am thinking of a story I am currently writing or one I hope to soon be, I am doing so outside of my work area. In fact, this morning when I was taking a shower I caught myself just standing there and thinking about a short story I am planning to start writing. I was going over the dialogue and the final scene, which I was debating when I woke up around 5:30AM. Nothing quite says thought provoking like watching the blue hour and drinking burnt coffee. Mmmm.

    In fact, I'll go a step further and admit that when I sit down and try to brainstorm up an idea it usually ends in utter failure. This was one of the many (MANY) reasons I was always terrible in my old Creative Writing class in High School. I would sit there for hours trying to get blood from a stone. With all of that being said, some of which I'm assuming could have bit skipped, I am not someone who believes in absolutes. While I do my best thinking outside of my workspace, I always finish my work inside of it. To be stuck in my head for twenty-four hours a day is not productive at all. There always needs to be a balance.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    only true about 'good' writers, as pretty much everyone is born with the ability to write... only exceptions being those born with handicaps that make writing or speaking impossible...

    perhaps never one of the best, or maybe not even a 'good' one, but that shouldn't stop you, if you really want to write...

    my point, exactly!

    sometimes one, sometimes the other, most often a bit of both...
     
  14. inkslinger
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    inkslinger Contributing Member

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    I try not to plot too much, because I get bored easily once everything feels neat and completely determined. The whole 'unknown' aspect of a project is exciting for me, as a writer.
     

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