1. Nicholas C.
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    Nicholas C. Active Member

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    What are your pre-writing routines

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Nicholas C., Jul 22, 2011.

    I am just getting into writing fiction (my background is in jounalistic/authoratative writing) and am wondering what most writers do as far as preparation, planning, etc.. Do a lot of you use outlines or write notes about characters? Thanks.
     
  2. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    If I'm going to write something longer than a short story, I tend to make notes about people, places, organisations and things like that. I may also keep a simple list of events to remind me what order they need to occur in. But the notes are just memory aids; they're not complete descriptions, and they're not really pre-writing; I only write them as I need them.

    I'm guessing there's more need for detailed planning if you write e.g a crime or spy thriller, because the plots are more complicated and characters tend to run around and do things to outsmart each other.

    Disclaimer: I'm not published yet.
     
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  3. LostInFiction
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    LostInFiction Senior Member

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    I have written notes on character, plot etc and I've found that really helpful in putting together my ideas. I also did a chapter synopsis for every chapter once I had relatively formed ideas but before I sat down to write the story itself. I've used the internet to do research on specific details and jotted down my findings and even sketched family trees and area maps to help get the story and its details clear and well developed in my head.

    I'm on my first piece of writing so who knows if it's any good! lol.

    All the best with your new venture.
     
  4. ena18
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    ena18 Member

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    For me, it depends on the genre. If I'm creating a new world for a fantasy/science fiction story, I will spend some time detailing the world and the rules. Otherwise, I only ever write a general plot outline and the starting characteristics of the main players. I fear that if I go to in depth before fleshing out ideas I'll start down a path that I don't necessarily want to follow.

    Once I have a basic plot outline done and a couple of notes about the main characters down, I jump straight into writing.
     
  5. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    I plan in detail. The novel I'm currently working on has a 36,000 word outline that I wrote over six weeks between studying and sitting exams last October~November.

    I should probably point out that my novels are set in the real world, in places I've been too, so I do not need to do any world-building. I also don't fill in character profiles or write down much information about them before beginning to write the story itself - I'm good with remembering facts about my characters without needing to take notes on them.
     
  6. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    When I get ideas I sometimes take a blank piece of paper and jot down anything that comes to mind - names, settings, scenes etc (ok and lots of doodling goes on too :))

    Otherwise I often 'just start writing'. For lyrics or short stories especially, I just write and experiment as I go along.
     
  7. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    I get an idea. I sit my asterisk down in my desk chair. I turn on the computer. I write.

    No rituals. No forethought planning, as such. I just get an idea and I start writing. The plotting and planning come later on when I start to see the story fleshing out. But even then, it's the same 'ritual'.
    I get an idea. I sit my asterisk down in my desk chair. I turn on the computer. I write.
     
  8. Heather
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    Heather Contributing Member

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    When I'm going to write something I have a whole list of things I ritually do before I start.
    -I plan my characters, everything from their personality to their height.
    -I plan my main settings.
    -I research names of things/places/other ideas I may want to use in my story.
    -I run ideas past my sister, who gets extremelly bored of me telling her yet another plot idea.
    -Finally, I make a cuppa tea, sit down, open microsoft word . . . . then more often than not I end up scrolling through the facebook page for 2 hours and not writing a single word.

    So yea, the actual writing part of my writing has always been fairly unsuccessful. But I tend to enjoy the research I carry out, and often get sidetracked by scrolling through wikipedia pages. :p
     
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  9. apf42589
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    apf42589 New Member

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    honestly, lol, i listen to background music to animes. I like to write action/adventure/romance.
     
  10. Nicholas C.
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    Nicholas C. Active Member

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    This is kind of my take on it as well. I've tried writing lengthy outlines in the past and they just haven't worked for me. I want my story-telling to be more character-driven and less plotted-out. It seems like lengthy outlines aren't very conducive to that frame of mind.
     
  11. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    First, I start brainstorming on an idea I want and keep writing ideas until I am happy with the idea I wan to write. Then I start expanding the idea by writing a paradigm to see how the story will go. If I like it, I write an outline of what my story is going to be about. Since the story is comedy, I would more likely write simple plot and only 90 to 95 pages for the screenplay. Then I write my character biography for each main character, so that I will know them more. Then I use index cards to write each scene. Once all that's done, I start writing my first draft.
     
  12. Needz
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    Needz New Member

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    My preparation is writing down everything I'm proud of myself for having thought. When I considered the order of events for my plot though I had to sit down and write a series of events and then fill it in with interesting dialogue that makes whatever message you have to give.
     

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