1. Zedler815
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    Zedler815 New Member

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    How do you write?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Zedler815, Apr 8, 2013.

    Do you feel as if you write more effectively by simply sitting down and free handing/typing or spending time brainstorming and outlining (characters, plots, settings, beginning, ending ect) before you begin to start trying to form actual sentences?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I sat down and wrote out a duology in about a month. It just poured out of my head. But, not in a publishable form. So, I've been working on it now for a bit over a year and I hope to be done in one more year or less with the first novel. Then I'll attack the second one.
     
  3. Bee Kay
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    Bee Kay Member

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    I deal primarily in short stories, so I tend to sit down and do it all at once; I write much of it by hand, then perhaps rewrite it by hand while editing, then edit a little more as I type it up into a Word document. I often write paragraphs out of order, which I guess is my way of outlining a story and cobbling together a plot. Then I connect everything as I go.

    Basically, much of my writing is impulsive. I keep a notebook near my shower for this reason (it's admittedly waterlogged and the ink is always running).
     
  4. Motley
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    Motley Active Member

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    My outlines, which aren't really outlines, come after the first draft.

    I read what I wrote the day before, then just start writing.
     
  5. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    In writing my short stories when a idea springs to mind I write or type down the main idea (boy meets girl) then the odd piece of dialogue or description that might come to mind. Then I leave it for a few days thinking over the notes and imagining scenarios and dialogue during my everyday life. The I write down any ideas that have come to me in those days. Then repeat the process until the story is complete.


    I am also writing a novel (its on hold at the moment) and I planned that in minute detail which I now think was a mistake because it took the excitement out of writing it. Writing the short stories I find far more thrilling because I have no idea how they are going to end.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i just sit down and start writing whatever it is that needs to be written... i don't need to do any 'pre-thinking' since i always have a first sentence floating around in my head, ready to kick off whatever it is...

    i wouldn't do up an outline for anything other than a multi-era saga, but might need to do a time-line to keep a complex story that goes back and forth from getting hopelessly tangled up in re who did what when...
     
  7. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    For first-draft writing, I usually do some pre-thinking somewhere with no distractions. When I wake up in the morning, I'll think about stuff before i get out of bed, or I'll think on a bike ride or in the shower.

    I then have difficulty directly typing it, so I will outline/summarize the scene in a notebook in pen. It usually takes 5-10 minutes. Pen and notebook seems to be the easiest way to get my ideas out of my head, because it's so easy for me and everything flows. Outlining/summarizing helps because I don't worry about bad writing, etc.

    Then I put my notebook next to me and type away. I have more steps than just typing on my computer, but I think I save a LOT of time, and it's never a struggle when I do it this way.
     
  8. jeepea
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    jeepea Member

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    I always start with some kind of outline. I use Scrivener and it's very easy to set up scenes or chapters where I believe some event will take place and then to begin writing anywhere within the outline, be it beginning, middle or end. After that, it's easy to move the scenes around or to delete them as necessary. The story almost always morphs away from what I initially envisioned, but I like the idea of having some idea about where I'm headed. This is especially helpful in writing from one day to the next as I never quit a writing session without knowing what I'm going to be working on the next day.
     
  9. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    I also use Scrivener. Excellent program all around, well-worth the money. I got it first as a free trial, and haven't opened Word since :)
     
  10. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I start with a character. Characters usually just flash into my head, like I suddenly see a snapshot and I start wondering who this is and what his story is. I quickly come up with a situation for him to be in, and usually (but not always) I have an idea of what the ending will be. As often as not, the ending changes before I get there. That's enough to get me going. I just start writing - "discovery writing," I guess it's called - and trust that the necessary ideas will come to me as I write.

    After a mess of a first draft is done, I read it over and figure out what my story is about. Then comes the fun part - rewriting! Ripping out the big chunks that didn't go anywhere and replacing with new material that does. I spot the main problems with the story at this stage. Right now, for example, I'm revising a short story. I realized on rereading it that the climax is weak - everything leading up to it is fine, but there's no emotional peak at the climax. I'm working on a rewrite of the climactic scene to charge it up. This is giving me an opportunity to spotlight one of the minor characters, and that will strengthen one of the themes of the story. I find this kind of work exciting.

    By the way, I'm also a recent convert to Scrivener. Once I developed an effective way of working with it, I found Word barely adequate, and certainly not as fun to use.
     
  11. Terralala
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    Terralala Member

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    I am currently writing my first novel and as hard as I tried to do an outline and plan my story out I never could and ultimately it just made me keep putting off writing. I thought planning it out was the proper way to start a novel but now I realize that for me I just like writing as I go, my story has changed a few times already and I am only 20,000 words in. I am not even going to think about editing until I have my first draft finished.

    I also just started using scrivener three days ago and I love it, it makes organization so much easier for me and lets me jump around from chapter to chapter easily.
     
  12. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    it normally just spills on a page in the correct form and order, just needs to be edited and re-edited until it makes sense....
     
  13. TheDistantShip
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    TheDistantShip Member

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    Lot's of Scrivener users here, which is awesome because I use it too. :)

    My best stories come spur of the moment. Sometimes I'll think about a certain plot for a while before I come up with a beginning or just get excited to start. When I over plan I get bored.
     
  14. TLK
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    TLK Active Member

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    I'm planning on writing a whole series of books and I thought it would be best to plan a rough draft of what's going to happen in the whole series before I started - it's always nice to put clever little links to following books. However, I was a bit of loss, but one day I said to myself "right, I'm going to sit down and write out what happens in each book". And, for some reason, I just did. This story kinda spilled out. Of course, I very much doubt that the exact same content will feature in the final drafts but it's a great starting point at least.
     
  15. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I just start writing. I usually have a beginning sentence, or a character, or some idea (like what would happen if...), but otherwise it's just let the story develop on its own. I edit as I go, which really makes it easier to keep going - no suddenly deciding to do something strange even though it mean re-writing the last 40 chapters; I have to build on what's already happened.
     
  16. Thornesque
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    Thornesque Contributing Member

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    Yay, Scrivener! I love the program. :love:

    I do a lot of pre-planning; I like making outlines of my projects before I get to work on them, so that's what I spend a bit of time on in advance. Though, once I get about halfway through the outline, I'll usually start writing. Then it's just...writing, for me, really.
     
  17. Zedler815
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    Zedler815 New Member

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    Great answers, everyone! I need to google this "Scrivener" program so many of you have mentioned! Me...I tend to get bored and loose interest if I spend too much time outlining every detail. An idea usually just hits me and I sit down on my computer and it just pours out. However, after I have gotten quite a few thousand words down and discover where I am going, I may jot down some ideas to keep me on track.
     
  18. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    I'm a mixture of brainstorming, planning and just flat out writing on a keyboard.
     
  19. blackstar21595
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    blackstar21595 Contributing Member

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    Once I have the idea of the story and how the plot's gonna be made, I free write in a notebook. I have different colored pens, so I can go back and add extra stuff to certain places, so I can identify it later. Like Bee said, I do short stories too, and poetry. But this process only happens when I have a story in my head. Any characters I think of don't get put on paper until there's a story that fits them.
     
  20. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    It almost always starts with a character. I get an idea and I go for it. I don't really sit and think about it a tremendous amount prior to writing. The extent of my brainstorming is primarily thinking about a scene or a character briefly then going and writing it down. I usually write a first draft then write an outline after that to help me when I edit to make sure I don't have any plot holes or continuity errors. As for character profiles I write loose ones pretty early on. As I progress in the story I don't need the character profiles all that much because I've gotten to know my characters forward and backward by then.

    I don't really have a set thing for writing. Most of the time the plot and characters reveal themselves as I go and not prior to that. I've tried being super organized about it and writing out all this information beforehand in the past and it always wound up feeling stiff and boxed in to write. I like the fluidity of how I work it gives room for things to grow and change.
     

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