1. Zombie Among Us

    Zombie Among Us Active Member

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    My Writing Method

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Zombie Among Us, Dec 1, 2018.

    My personal writing method is one that I can't remember the last time I saw anyone say anything about. What I do is I will think of a scene for later on in a story and I'll type it up. Basically, I write point A and point C before point B. When I get to point B, I warp point C and work it into the story. Once, I wrote about 2,500 words in three days this way, then changed and connected the different pieces later. I usually do this when I have lots of motivation to write and ideas, but no inspiration for how to connect those ideas. This method has put my thoughts on paper, helped me work out the kinks and figure out what to write next, and greatly increase my word count in a short period of time.

    What do you guys think of this? What are your writing methods?
     
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  2. Just a cookiemunster

    Just a cookiemunster Active Member

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    OMG!! I have the EXACT same method. I don't do it on purpose it just happens that way. I am constantly going back and forth adding scenes and chapters. The only annoying part is reorganzing the chapters and missing and/or added information. But I just can't help it. I already have scenes writting down for like 5 chapters later and another scene I want to add in the beginning chapters. lol I thought it was just me. I like this method though it works for me. Interesting see what others do. :superwink:
     
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  3. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I think it's fairly common for people who use outlines to jump around in their outlines and write whatever scenes are most vivid for them at a given time, but if I understand you guys correctly, you're doing this without outlines? Is that accurate?

    That sounds strange to me, but I guess if it works, it works. Are you able to produce coherent completed stories writing this way?
     
  4. exweedfarmer

    exweedfarmer Banned Contributor

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    Very interesting! That's not something that I've even considered. May have to try that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
  5. Just a cookiemunster

    Just a cookiemunster Active Member

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    Yes I do it without outlines. It's all made up as I go along and until an idea pops in my head I have no idea what's going to happen in the story myself. This sounds crazy but I didn't know anything about outlines until maybe 2 years ago. and when I heard about it I was in shock :confuzled: thinking to myself "Have I been doing it wrong all of these years? Is this what normal people do?" It's something I would like to try with my next story just to see if I like it better. But I like the excitement of not knowing what's going to happen next. I mean I have ideas about where I want the story to go more or less of course but no official outline.
    I do think my story is coherent believe it or not. Well, I had someone I know read it and they thought it was well written. That was a while ago though I have written much more since then, so after I get to a certain portion I am going to have more people that I know read over it again. (If I can scrape some together:dry:) Then when it's done I will get official beta readers.
     
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  6. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Supporter Contributor

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    My method is as follows: First, I write all the odd words. Next, I fill in all the even words. Then I add the punctuation. After that, I spend a month or so screwing around with fonts. Then I send it to the publisher, and they put it neatly in the garbage. At least, I think that's what they do. It's what I would do, anyway.

    All that to say I work in a similar manner to the OP. That is, I'm mostly a committed pantser, and I write scenes in any order I like. Gradually, as the story emerges, it becomes clear that this scene comes before that scene, and the whole work begins to organize itself.
     
  7. Zombie Among Us

    Zombie Among Us Active Member

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    I don't have an outline, but I have what I call a "notepad" where I have notes, a timeline of what's already happened, and ideas I have for the story. I've actually never tried outlines for my creative writing. I feel like if I made one, I'd obsess over it and be scared to deter from it. I know a little about what the ending of my WIP will be like, but besides that, I'm really just seeing where my imagination takes me in the moment.
     
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  8. Blue9

    Blue9 New Member

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    I do this too! I'm struggling currently with my WIP on how to connect my ideas. I've written all of the action packed and emotional scenes, but I am missing the transition between them. So essentially I have at least 75 percent completed, but the remaining 25 (which I seemingly just can't write) is preventing me from finishing.

    I thought I was the only one I am glad others do what I do too. :)
     
  9. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    I write the same way. I have done technical writing for 30 years, some fairly massive 300 page technical pieces, that I thoroughly outline. But I don't want to carry that approach into my fictional writing because I feel it would cause it be too pre-programmed. Like you, both I and @K McIntyre "take dictation" from our characters, and looking forward to writing a chapter to see what they tell us, what happens to them. As to jumping from scene to scene, I haven't done that before, though I often have a scene in my mind that is developing as the story grows... "when they get to that point, something bad is going to happen, what might that be? Could it be connected to the thread I am developing now?"

    However, in my current work, I have ten characters scattered over a wide area 2000 years ago (China to Italy) coming together in the Middle East in time for the Roman invasion of Mesopotamia. The Roman and Parthian characters are linked to a large number of historical events, which will impact the other characters. I have a timeline like you, but it lists by months the actual events from 112-117AD that my real and fictional characters have to take part in, or are affected by them. But these characters have no idea what the other characters are doing, they are coming each for their own reasons. I have as a result written several scenes out of sequence for different characters, and I find it is helpful when I am stalled, to just shift to another character, place and time and write it. For example in about six months from where I am, a Roman legion will be fighting on snowshoes in the Armenian highlands of eastern Turkey in 16 feet of snow, according to Arrius who was (really) there. (6000 men per legion x 2 feet each is 12,000 snowshoes! Interesting logistics!). Maybe I should just jump ahead and write that really interesting chapter, instead of fretting about another character and situation that is stalling me out.
     
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  10. Artifacs

    Artifacs Senior Member

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    Another improviser here. I stand by the OP. I have a faint idea of how the story will be, and start writing the first thing it comes related to that. Then I realize that chapter 1 must be chapter 3 to include that new idea. Later, chapter 3 becomes chapter 6, and I end up writing the story backwards from the half of the novel. Filling gaps here and there. It seems the trick is to never know where one's going. And finally, I read all the mess and it's not near to what I had in mind in the first place.
    What...? Who wrote this? What's this giant bunny doing in my cyberpunk bar brawling scene?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
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  11. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    I write chronologically, so I don't have to worry about shuffling bits
    around later. Not that it makes it any easier to get the story done,
    but it does help keep the damn thing straight from start to fin. :p
     
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  12. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    Martha Mitchell wrote the last chapter of Gone with the Wind first, then the other chapters in no particular order. According to her museum, the publisher had to do a LOT of editing, but it was the ONLY story of the Civil War told from the POV of the Confederacy that been written by the 1920's, and that was what the publisher was looking for.
     
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  13. Aled James Taylor

    Aled James Taylor Contributor Contributor

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    I tend to write scenes in the order in which they occur to me. I'm using a word processor and make use of section titles and the table of contents feature to help me navigate the text. I often rearrange the sections so continuity is a real issue. It's far too easy to have the characters deciding to do something which they've actually already done. If I think of a section to write but don't want to write it immediately, I put the title in and then add the texts some other time. The table of contents becomes my plan and overview of the story.
     
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  14. Solar

    Solar Contributor Contributor

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    My method is this:

    • Plan: sit down and get in a good few hours of solid writing @ 9pm
    • Get distracted.
    • Get distracted.
    • Get distracted.
    • Get distracted.
    • Get distracted.
    • Get distracted.
    • Get distracted.
    • @ 11.55pm Roll my sleeves up and sit down to write.
    • Write a couple of words.
    • @ 12.05am The missus says, 'It's late, you coming to bed?' I say, 'Trying to get some writing done.'
    • Write a couple more words.
    • @ 12.08am I say fuck it, switch off the computer and go to bed.
    As a consequence, I've only managed to write a paragraph in the last month or so.
     
  15. LadyErica

    LadyErica Active Member

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    Think that's weird? I always go from point A to point B to point C, to follow your example. But I never use an outline, and prefer to let the story flow naturally. The weird thing is I often find myself writing all sorts of weird stuff involving the characters, for no better reason than to get to know them better. Sometimes, it's a scene I not I'm not going to use, and that has no affect on the plot. For instance, I wasn't quite sure how two characters in the story would get along, so I derailed the story and sent them off to a restaurant together. Everyone's gotta eat, right? :D This gave them a good chance to get to know each other, and I could later use that knowledge to improve on the real story. The restaurant scene was simply deleted afterwards. Then again, I have considered keeping scenes like this, and rather publishing them as a collection of deleted scenes.

    In even weirder cases, I have tried to interview the characters like you would interview actors in a movie. This let me know how the different characters thought about the story itself, the other characters, plot twists, and all that. Fun to write, but entirely pointless to anyone except myself.
     
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  16. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    Roger that! A table of contents and chapter headings are essential to navigating through a long document. Far better than thinking "Wow, I said something about this a while ago but I can't find where" And as to @Solar, substitute "play Sudoku" for "get distracted" (same thing?) and it is something that far too often describes mine!
     
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