1. Passero
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    Passero Member

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    Freewriting

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Passero, Feb 8, 2014.

    What do you guys write about when you freewrite?

    I try to have at least one 10 minute freewrite session a day, just to get me started.
    I notice that all my freewriting is personal. I tend to loose my creativity while freewriting. This is probably because everywhere they say you shouldn't think and just write. Because of this, I feel like I'm doing a bad job when I pause and think for a few seconds. Is that really that bad?

    I want to use my imagination more while freewriting but that part of my brain seems to be blocked by the focus of the act of freewriting (don't think, just write).
     
  2. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I was reading Writing down the Bones - she had a good tip which I've been trying out - 3 minutes, three lines. 1 subject - anything goes. Usually I pick a word or just glance around or get inspired by what I'm watching on t.v. There's enough time to pause and think about the next line. Even rework it.

    Here's one I wrote watching some crummy old 80's movie -
    Every day I walk on stars.
    It’s no big deal.
    They got names too; Esther Williams and Ruby Keeler and Judy Garland.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Peter Elbow was one of my teachers in a college class "Writing and Experience." He is one of the better-known proponents of freewriting (Google him).

    I found the class, and especially the freewriting, pretty much worthless. I have had other writing classes that were far more useful.

    Peachalulu's exercise is not freewriting, and seems much more useful. It has direction, which freewriting lacks.
     
  4. Passero
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    @Cogito the book I'm reading actually refers to Peter Elbow when explaining the process of freewriting :) That book (Creative Writing: A workbook with readings) doesn't actually say that freewriting is essential. It just explains the process and purpose. I do like the purpose but as you say, it lacks direction.
     
  5. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I realize, reading this, that I never practice freewriting. Why? I don't know. Guess I never had a reason to.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't see what value freewriting can have to someone who wants to write professionally, for publication...

    and 'don't think, just write' is impossible to do by hand and, if done on a keyboard, would result in just a random series of letters, no words... because if you're not thinking of words, how can you write any?
     
  7. nastyjman
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    nastyjman Contributing Member

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    I have never heard of Elbow, but after searching him up, he's got my interest.

    I did some freewriting for the heck of it. Most of it were garbled words and nonsensical sentences -- like images from a dream that bares no superficial meaning. But I did get a nugget of an idea from it. What you can get from it are ideas, if you can extract them. But I only did that once, and thought that freewriting was another method of getting ideas.
     
  8. Siena
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    Siena Active Member

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    Believe me, many great writers do a looooooootta pausing and thinking before they write. Not a bad thing at all.
     
  9. nastyjman
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    nastyjman Contributing Member

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    Follow up... I bought his book "Writing With Power." So far, reading only the introduction, it looks interesting. I'd say it's another process to get the unwritten story on the page. If you want to do free writing, no one is going to stop you from experimenting with different types of processes.

    P.S.

    I bought the book because I'm a seat-of-the-pants writer. The only planning I do is writing down the storyline and the synopsis of the story I'm writing. I like to discover new scenes or elements in the way until I get to the end. The revising process, however, boy, it's long. But I'm learning in the process and gaining a speck of confidence.

    I think what's important is turning the unwritten story into a written mess. Some folks edit as they go, but personally I couldn't go further than a paragraph or two with that way. Some people outline before they write, but for me, I like discovering new elements as I go (although I risk writing myself into the thicket of the woods -- and I'm not suggesting outlines demand strict adherence).

    Find what works for you. Stick to it if you're comfortable with it. If you get too comfortable, you can always experiment.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014

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