1. the1
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    the1 Active Member

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    What kind of writer are you?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by the1, Jan 23, 2014.

    I was thinking about the writing process and thought this might be an interesting discussion.

    I am the type of person who likes to know what is happening and I like to be in control of most situations (for better and worse).

    This translates in my writing process as I usually have to flesh out an entire idea before I can begin writing.

    How do you guys write? Can you start with an idea and keep writing to see where it takes you? Or are you like me and do you like to plan ahead and know what is going to happen in your story?

    What I am more interested in however, is how far you take this. Even before you begin writing do you know how your story is going to evolve chapter by chapter? Do you know how you story will start and end and do you fill in the middle as you go? Or do you just have a general idea of what you want to achieve and let loose and see what happens?
     
  2. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually I'm exactly like you. I Have to know where the story is going before I start, If I'm ever gonna finish it, that is. Otherwise I'll get stuck around 25-30K and won't get any further. The more I know the better and I usually outline the whole story thoroughly before starting to write. chapter by chapter, scene by scene. I'm not one of those who can just sit down and see where the story takes me. That is a sure way for me to not get anything written at all. :D
     
  3. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    My current project is a historical novel spanning 500 years, so, yes, planning was essential. Since I am going to try to get it published I knew that I'd have to cram that 500 years, plus a modern-day subplot, into no more than 120,000 words. So, I picked specific time periods to include in the story, planned the MC for each era and sketched out a plot for each. I also did some preliminary family trees, so the generations would line up. And a historical timeline for each era.

    But even with all that, I made sure I didn't lock myself in so much as to not be able to take advantage of new and emerging storylines that occurred to me as I wrote. Some of these I will keep and some I'll discard. I've already merged three planned chapters into two, and changed the focus of two others. Flexibility is key.
     
  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have a good idea where the story will start and how it will end. Then I figure out the major plot points or events that will carry the story from the beginning to the end.

    During the writing process, things may change....new events, others ignored...or expanded. sometimes a subplot develops. The planning is a guide, not a mandatory path.
     
  5. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    I plan and write an outline first. But, before I do that, I daydream and think of various ways the story could go. I usually start out with just an idea for a scene and end up building a story around it. I'm also very flexible with my outline.
     
  6. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    I start with a beginning and an end. I plan the attributes of my cast of characters pretty extensively, but how they work in the story moves along as I write it. If I had a dollar for every time I've changed elements of my story, it would make any royalties from publishing look like pocket change.
     
  7. Foxe
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    Foxe Active Member

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    Like Renee, I'm a daydreamer. Unfortunately, I'm not so good as to complete the story so it doesn't work so well all the time, but I think it's the way to go for me; to have the complete plot in mind while leaving the details to flourish while writing. I'm working on it. I recently daydreamed a story to near-completion -- I'm onto something.
     
  8. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I may start with a vague idea and/or a character or two. Then I start writing. I edit/revise as I go, research as needed when it's needed, and use betas as I complete each chapter. I think out possible ramifications of actions as they occur, and go with the one that seems most promising and I don't look back. Everything that happens has to be based on what's already occurred. The only changes I make are based on what my betas mention; otherwise, when I finish the story, the only thing left is polishing.
     
  9. Macaberz
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    Macaberz Pay it forward Contributor

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    Like some others before me, I start with an idea, or sometimes just a title. I am a little weird like that...

    Anyway, I often just have some specific scenes (rarely more than two or three) in my mind and then simply start writing, steering my plot towards those particular scenes but with no clue as to how the road to it will look, or how long it'll be. Having said that, I do write the events I think of down and flesh them out. I have pretty bad memory and I've found that a little more planning and structure helps me get things done. A full-on "gardener" approach to writing often led to me either postponing a lot or leaving my work unfinished. I won't even get started on how many chapters one I have written...

    Using the 80/20 rule, I plan 20% and improvise 80%. After that it's just a lot of revision so in a way, the improvisation is actually a very detailed way of planning.
     
  10. TheApprentice
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    TheApprentice Contributing Member

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    Start with an idea and keep going with it. My only problem is, I imagine scenes that I want to get to, so some of the writing process I find boring.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i get an idea for a piece of writing and i begin to write... i keep writing till i finish it... if, at some point, the complexity of the plot, length of the timeline, number of subplots, or whatever make some measure of planning necessary, i will stop and do up a skeleton outline, to keep from getting tangled up in same...
     
  12. TDFuhringer
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    TDFuhringer Contributing Member Contributor

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    I need to know at least three scenes before I can start a story. One of the scenes has to be the climax. The rest of the story happens organically once I start writing. As long as I know exactly where the story is going, the route can be changed as needed. :)
     
  13. AmyJ
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    AmyJ New Member

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    I almost always start with a couple of characters and an "inciting incident"-- I write love stories so the incident is usually the two characters meeting in whatever setting I've decided would be interesting.
    Sometimes I can see far off in the distance where I want to end up, but what is so cool about writing is the way characters can drive the narrative and often do things that surprise me and then there goes the story-- off in a totally different (and usually better) direction.

    The only time I use outlines now is during my revisions.

    Anyway, I find it more fun to point my characters in a direction and watch what happens.

    Also, I'm new here and this was my first post. Just putting that out there in case it sucked ;)

    akj
     
  14. the1
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    the1 Active Member

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    @AmyJ did not suck at all, thanks for sharing! :D
     

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