1. loonypapa

    loonypapa Member

    Apr 2, 2016
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    Possibly wonky question on style and voice

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by loonypapa, Apr 7, 2016.

    I was taught to write gut-level from your normal voice, to get it all out, and then go back to the beginning of the sentence or paragraph and fine tune it for the style or tone needed in that particular point in the story. What are some other ways that you folks craft a sentence or paragraph? I know a writer that pains over every word in every sentence before moving forward. I like to get it all out in rough form first, as the inspiration hits, then go back and craft it. Is there a right way, more efficient way, favorite way, conducive way?
  2. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

    May 1, 2008
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    Puerto Rico
    Rough and ready, then slow and steady. ;) It's a paradigm that has many applications. :whistle:

    All joking aside, that really is how I go about it. I get it out, no matter how ugly, then I go back and rearrange the pieces until I'm happy. Sophie's Choicing every word and phrase would mean nothing ever hit the page. For me.
    Wayjor Frippery and SethLoki like this.
  3. SethLoki

    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

    Jan 1, 2011
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    Manchester UK
    I so wish I'd have had and heeded that advice a decade ago. I've got some stuff sindering (yes let it become ash) away on the back burner..........actually, I'm divorcing it..........I've now divorced it. It was so front heavy with its refinement and absorbed so much of my time that to see me finish it would have made me an old man. To the ashes bin, let's go.
    Wayjor Frippery likes this.
  4. MikeyC

    MikeyC Member

    Sep 9, 2013
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    I wrote my second book without any major edits on the way. Just let it all out, so to speak, in one ugly rush.

    When I went to complete my first major edit, it was a pretty depressing daunting task. Basic sentence structure was missing, very little flowed smoothly. I spent months editing, then editing my edits, before I was even close to happy with my first edit. Needless to say, the whole book become one major chore after the first draft.

    Now I am on my third book, and taking a completely different approach. I read the previous chapter, or my writing from the day before. If I am not happy with something/anything be a word, phrase or paragraph. I now re-write it. As a consequence the whole story is taking really good shape, and I can see my first edit will be more focused on story line, rather than the tedious flow issues.

    This is making for a much better book. When you aren't focused on readability but on your story line and characters, your mind goes into awesome overdrive. 'What if i do that?' 'What if....', if find my creative part is getting the good kick it needs.

    This is of course just my experience with writing and I am sure everyone needs/wants to take a different approach. But if anyone is like me and what comes out of your head is drivel when first on paper, sorting it out immediately, makes life a lot easier later on :) Also that break from the previous day's writing, greatly helps with thought clarity when rea-reading.

    Just my two pennies worth.

    Good luck.


  5. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributor Contributor

    Jun 7, 2015
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    I've tried it both ways and both are a lot of work, especially after you get notes from beta readers.

    Work, work, work. That's all we writers do. (dammit!)

    I wrote my first eight novels off the cuff, so to speak, and—in my naivety—thought they were finished. The seventh one has been in rewrites for the last year and still isn't done.

    Out of all that, what I've come up with as the RV Drake approach to writing novels includes:
    • outline first, unless you've already written a first draft, then outline second,
    • first, write a seat-of-the-pants draft... unless you have an outline, then write it while following the outline to stay 'on plot,'
    • don't get into the nitty-gritty of VGS (voice, grammar and spelling) until everything else seems to be working (plot & flow)... unless you just can't help yourself and simply have to get that stuff out of the way,
    • and the most important rule of all: all rules are made to be broken, indeed shattered once you get the hang of rule-breaking.
    SethLoki likes this.

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