1. Smoke
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    Smoke Contributing Member

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    The processes of writing.

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Smoke, Apr 1, 2011.

    I've spent the morning "sewing." That is, I've ironed, futzed around with pinning, and struggled to figure out what I'm trying to do. The sewing machine hasn't been involved.

    One thing I usually think about with sewing is how I usually do spend a lot more time using the iron than the sewing machine, and how it's the most important step in not making a garment look home made.

    I wonder how many amateur writers think that writing is just about what happens when you're sitting at the typewriter.

    While not an essential step, staring at the ceiling is also a part of writing.
     
  2. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    LOL. The research part can be especially trying.
     
  3. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    I've probably written half my book naked yelling at walls in the shower.

    I also used to plan out plot devices and stuff while driving, but after missing a few too many exits I don't do that as much.
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I have a hard time with those who think that writing is typing. That is, those who think that the speed they type is the speed they write. I agree with Smoke - staring at the ceiling is part of writing. So is arguing with oneself in the car. So is sitting on the toilet, showering, or even snoozing - I've had a couple of great ideas come from dreams.

    Actually writing down the words is the last phase of writing. Many phases have already happened before you actually write, and some of those phases are phases you might not even be aware are happening. Some of these phases may include gathering information from your own emotions, or reading the work of others, or observing other people, or observing animals, etc.
     
  5. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    A lot of my 'writing' involves thinking or (day)dreaming. I can't just bash on unless I've mapped out what I'm going to do next. It never 'flows' without a lot of conscious labour.
    Bit like sewing.
     
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  6. bahloo
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    bahloo Member

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    I've been researching like crazy on this idea I've had. I haven't written a single paragraph yet, though I have tons of backstory/culture/details about the most minuscule things. I've run into problems in the past of getting my facts messed up, or not knowing where to go next, so I think that this approach to "writing" (though it doesn't actually involve much yet) will yield a better story than my previous attempts, which involved me pretty much banging my head against the keyboard.
     
  7. LiquidPains
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    LiquidPains New Member

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    I'm into photography, and I've found that my photos influence my writing, and vice-versa. Sometimes, when I'm looking to see which shot I like out of the several I've taken, a story (or a phrase or even a few, seemingly unrelated words) leaps from the screen on my Canon and into my head. It's a beautiful thing how my artsy endeavors intermingle like that.
     
  8. JMTweedie
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    JMTweedie Senior Member

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    I think about my story all the time, even when I'm at work. I have a notepad next to me and jot down sentences now and again. I don't think there are many hours in the day when I'm not living in my novel. Don't know if that's good or bad.

    I found a book called ':59 seconds' by Richard Wiseman. Really good for tips on beating procrastination and creative block. It's about life in general though, not writing.

    When you want to think up new ideas, lie down. Horizontal works better on the brain than upright.
     
  9. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Aristotle begs to differ!:)

    Certainly one needs to think and research and stare at ceilings and all those things but I'm always mindful of what Raymond Carver said (and I paraphrase). That the writer becomes aware of what he wants to write only through the act of writing....which presupposes that a distinguishing characteristic of the 'writer' is that, for them, the very activity of writing generates those ideas that are most vital.
     
  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm with Raymond Carver - all the staring at the ceiling, shouting in the shower cannot replace the hours spent writing. Even the bad writing moves on stories and characters. I just write I find it the most productive way of uncovering the real story. Most of my characters have come about by writing stories - longer tales have come from short stories.

    I don't really think much about my stories in between times - I do make up scrapbooks and build the characters a little before. However I am under no illusions - the story happens when I type, it is never what I thought about in between anyway. The story that happens at other times is my story - the story that happens typing in front of the computer is the story that wants to be told. It isn't often the same one.

    So for me yes story is about writing - with the odd moments for research like watching Midsomer Murders and the Bill or the Thin Blue Line. I only research when a problem I can't answer appears in the writing. I spend about an hour with my characters before I start writing even then I start writing little bits, the only time I do look back in a first draft is the first bit of the first chapter that gets rewritten several times until I am in the flow of the characters then I just write.
     
  11. MidnightPhoenix
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    MidnightPhoenix Contributing Member

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    :) I'm exactly the same way, actually head to work now:( but the only thing that kept me from been bored to death is writing. Even when I am tried to get some sleep, I'm always play out a scene in my head to work it out. Then I quickly turn on the light to write it down.:rolleyes:
     
  12. Tessie
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    Tessie Contributing Member Contributor

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    A lot of good writing modes on here lol. JMTweedie, I do agree that a horizontal position helps.

    I'm leaning toward what Charlotte and Art said before. I'm more of a sit down with music writer. Firstly, so I can shut out the surroundings for a few moments, and secondly because the music puts my mindset in certain moods. I have ideas and random plot progression points all the time during the day, but it's when I have a second to sit down that I write.
     

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