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  1. Flightlessfoofaraw
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    Flightlessfoofaraw Member

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    How do you prefer to write?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Flightlessfoofaraw, Jun 17, 2008.

    This question applies mainly to those people writing novels i guess :)

    Do you prefer to work on it from start to finish? So start with chapter1, and move through the book writing each chapter chronologically? Or do you prefer to write sections and chapters as the ideas occur to you, then fit bits together as and when it's needed?

    I had always tried to stick with the former, until relatively recently. I figured that was the "right" way to do it. But for those of us with a short attention span, i think it can be a little boring. What sort of changed my mind on the issue was getting halfway through my chapter 7, and just being in the mood to write about something completely different. As a result, i'd look at it every night and think "what's the quickest way to finish this chapter?" Not really conducive towards producing something people are actually going to want to read :D

    The only problem i can really see with the latter, is continuity. In other words, trying to keep track of what has and hasn't happened yet in the chronology of the book, because you're writing it out of order.

    What about you guys?
     
  2. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    I write the first, because i have to figure my plot out while i write. Although, I have moved a lot of pieces around. I will decide its too early for a scene, take it out, save it somewhere else, then insert it back in wherever i wish.
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I have a tendency to write it as it comes to me. This is rarely in chronological order. Once I have some of the major portions fleshed out, I put them onto a time-line which I draw on a huge dry-erase board on one wall in my spare bedroom. The time-line points out problems with what-is-happening-when. I’m not recommending this as a method; everything I have read says I am crazy. But it works for me. *shrugs*
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'd say if a scene crystallizes in your thoughts, jump in and write it while it is fresh, no matter where it happens to fall in your chronology.
     
  5. Aurora_Black
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    Aurora_Black Contributing Member

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    I like to write/type my stories at night with three Monster energy drinks next to me, music playing and hyped like crazy. If i'm not really excited about a story, I get bored and quit (Which is often because I have the attention span of a 6 year old).

    Pretty much :p
     
  6. Flightlessfoofaraw
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    Flightlessfoofaraw Member

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    I figure out the plot as im going as well. I think the ideal "style" for me, now that i've thought about it a bit, is to start each chapter, write 3-5 pages, then start the next one, or go back and flesh out an earlier one to avoid getting bored.

    I like the white-board idea. Might have to get me one of those! Or i could use Microsoft Project, i suppose :D
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Microsoft Visio would work more like a whiteboard. You can put notes in shapes then drag them around the board to get an idea of what arrangement works best. It would be a bit like writing notes on 4x5 index cards and tacking them up on a corkboard.
     
  8. LibbyAnn
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    LibbyAnn Contributing Member

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    I jump all over the place. The novel I'm working on right now has the ending written, and any major scenes that sounded exciting at the time. I find this the best way for me to write - if I'm excited about what I'm writing it always comes across better!

    I usually start with a general time line of where I"m going so that I don't have major problems in the end.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I did that! I went back to the old-school. There's just something about having in front of me, in real time, that just works better for me. I also prefer to edit and look for errors in hardcopy. Its just more real to me that way. *shrugs again*
     
  10. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    Chronological. It's more of my genes, I try to be the perfect person who does everything in order. :p Usually because I never have trouble writing anything, I just read the previous chapters and immediately get into the mood.
     
  11. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think its a matter of personality...some people prefer the chronological structure while others develop the entire storyline in their mind and are better off to produce the highlights whenever they pop up. You can always go back and do the "filler" in between key scenes but, at least for me, moments of brilliance are rare and need to be captured before they evaporate.

    .....NaCl
     
  12. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I'm totaly with Saulty on that! :D
     
  13. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    I start by writing in order, but when I reach the middle, I sort of write randomly.
     
  14. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    I write in chronological order. If I don't, I get everything muddled up and completely lose it. :D
     
  15. Flightlessfoofaraw
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    Flightlessfoofaraw Member

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    I think that's definately where i am at the moment :) Most of my novel was written chronologically, then one saturday morning i had a flash of inspiration in the shower about two different scenes i wanted to write. I wasn't sure where they were going to go, but i knew i wanted them somewhere. That was kind of a turning point for me. I found the going far better in writing those scenes, than i had for a long while.

    Ah yes! Good call. My brother used visio for a UML project a while ago, so i have a licence lying around somewhere i can use :D

    The only problem i foresee with this strategy, is: what happens when i've finished writing all the bits i'm particularly excited about writing?!

    I think that's pretty logical. I mean, we're used to reading stories in books primarily. It stands to reason that this would be the most natural way to read your own work.
     
  16. LibbyAnn
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    LibbyAnn Contributing Member

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    By the time I run out of stuff I'm excited about writing, the story is usually solidified enough that it's just going back and filling in bits and pieces. It works for me, but I know it's a pretty unconventional way of writing!
     
  17. Flightlessfoofaraw
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    Flightlessfoofaraw Member

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    You're certainly not alone there!

    Yeah there is that risk haha! I'm already starting to forget tweaks i made to the universe and backstory at large. For example, i've changed the timeline about 5 times :D

    I did start a sort of "info" file, containing the timeline, a brief bio of each character (which i thought would also be a great exercise to get to know my characters, just to write about each of them for a while and see where it went), but it's probably horribly out of date now.
     
  18. Flightlessfoofaraw
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    I think it probably does for me, too. I just have to be disciplined and keep a consistent timeline!
     
  19. BillyxRansom
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    BillyxRansom Active Member

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    I do the whole jumping around thing, too. It just gets very difficult at times. I suppose that the only way to overcome this is by practicing discipline.
     
  20. Rebekkamaria
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    Rebekkamaria Senior Member

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    I jump around, too. :)

    The thing is, I've never understood filler parts. Everything that I write has to be interesting to me or I can't write it. If it doesn't seem interesting enough, I make it interesting.

    I love conversations between the characters. I love to show their emotions and how the pov character guesses what the other characters are feeling etc. :) That makes every scene worthwhile for me. Characters.
     
  21. LibbyAnn
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    LibbyAnn Contributing Member

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    All my scenes are interesting to me too...maybe that wasn't the best choice of words! I tend to write what fits my mood - if I'm sad and upset and I try to write a happy scene, it's going to be really pathetic :) So I jump around and write the bits that appeal to me at that moment. Then I go back and fill in what needs to in order for the story to flow. These aren't "filler parts" necessarily - they're just scenes I never got around to writing and are necessary for the flow of the story.
     
  22. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    Oh goodness. I definitely HAVE to write the thing in order, beginning to end, simply because my stories are so LONG and I would never be able to keep up the continuity otherwise! I can't even imagine doing it any other way. Sure, I'll visualize future/out-of-sequence scenes (all the time!), and maybe fiddle around with jotting down a rough version, but the entire story?--I would never be able to manage writing it all out of order. That would drive me nuts. And I'm certain I'd have to majorly redo it all anyway, it'd be so messed up.

    I have an incredibly short attention span, BTW. :D
     
  23. Ash
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    Ash New Member

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    Uhm...I usually follow the chapter order. But sometimes, when brilliant ideas of other chapters strike me, I'd write them down as soon as possible in case I forget them.
     
  24. Jade
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    Jade Active Member

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    I have a nasty habit of skipping chapters that don't interest me as much and writing action scenes. I really must stop it.

    Usually when it happens, I write myself messages in red to show where I need to go back and elaborate so at the moment I'm making myself to go back to the start and fill in the chapter gaps and plot holes before I allow myself to carry on into further chapters, although I'm not sure thats the best way to do it. I have to train myself to actually finish my scenes not just move on to the next one.
     
  25. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    I try to write in order, but all too often I get bored with a scene and skip it in favor of something more interesting. Hence why about half of my chapters were unfinished before I realized it needed a complete do-over.
     

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