1. SkinnyPuppy

    SkinnyPuppy Active Member

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    What style are you?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by SkinnyPuppy, Mar 13, 2018.

    Just to get to know some of you a little bit better I thought I would pose some questions.

    What style writer are you?

    Do you use character spreadsheets? Are you a note taker?

    Do you immerse yourself in otherwise uncomfortable or unfamiliar situations to glean important research information?

    Do you start at the beginning of your novel and plow through until the end? Or do you write sections to be put in order later?

    Do you wake up in the middle of the night with ideas...or maybe do they dawn on you in the shower or someplace serene? Maybe you need Metallica, or Bach...or Waylan Jennings?

    Me? Im a plow. I love fiction based loosely on actual events. I start from the beginning and don't stop until the end. I love intricate dialogue and original/shocking/abrasive metaphors. I love to immerse myself outside all of my sensibilities, I people watch and I take notes. My characters come as I write, no sheets. I wake up often with moments of literary clarity, and I use music to channel passion.

    That's me. How about you? Thanks for having me here!
     
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  2. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat

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    What style writer are you?
    "Style" has many meanings, even within this forum, so...For fiction, it's character-driven, and I figure out a plot as I go along, with little to no planning. I come from a journalism background, so sometimes it comes from a question or concept, like, "What was it like to be a Russian immigrant who defected to the U.S. for artistic freedom?" It always starts with the main character, though.

    Do you use character spreadsheets? Are you a note taker?
    Note-taker, big time. I generate tons of paper to keep track of details. My current WIP takes place in 1980, so I have lists of popular foods, music, pop culture moments, photo files of fashion, weather info, you name it. I do have some character sheets, but I always fill them out after I already know a lot about the character. I use the character sheets more like dossiers, to remember details so I can be consistent. (Birthdate, birthplace, favorites, family details, what age the character was when certain things happened, etc.)

    Do you immerse yourself in otherwise uncomfortable or unfamiliar situations to glean important research information?
    For my non-fiction, the experiences are the entire reason why I write. The actual writing part, I could live without. For fiction, I use whatever research methods work best for what I need to accomplish. I interview a ton of people and do field trips, as well as internet research and old fashioned book readin' and library research.

    Do you start at the beginning of your novel and plow through until the end? Or do you write sections to be put in order later? Always from beginning to end, going back and editing as I go so I have less cleanup on the next draft.

    Do you wake up in the middle of the night with ideas...or maybe do they dawn on you in the shower or someplace serene? Maybe you need Metallica, or Bach...or Waylan Jennings?
    I wake up in the middle of the night with a lot of ideas, and I occasionally dream scenes. I also use music in a variety of ways...to help pace a scene, for mood, or to put myself into the era of the characters. If my MC, Alexei, is listening to an Elton John album while making a sandwich and trying to figure something out, I'm listening to that Elton John album as I write the scene. In the new novel I'll be working on after this one, I'll be listening to a lot of music from 1988-89, the year the novel takes place.

    Welcome!
     
  3. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Contributor Contributor

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  4. GlitterRain7

    GlitterRain7 The Queen of Nowhere Contributor

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    I suppose character driven. My plots seem to form around the characters, at least for my WIP. But I'm typically more interested in characters then plot events in general.
    Not really, for either one. Other then the fact that I think character sheets are fun, I really don't need them. I can seem to remember what I need to remember. Note taking is on the minimal side. I have a basic outline, and I have some notes on my phone for jotting down things that would otherwise be hard to find in the actual text but I may need in future text. That's pretty much it.
    No. I just do computer researching, or I come here and ask my questions.
    I've done both. By far, going from beginning to end is what works best for me.
    Yes, I've woken up in the middle of the night and thought about my WIP without even realizing it at first. Usually it's just random stuff, but sometimes random stuff leads to new insights. I'm always letting myself think about it and trying to get new ideas, though. And yes, music definitely helps me. It inspires me to write in a way, to think of things to write. Actually, I think I have to attribute music as one of the reasons I was able to start writing. I like listening to the lyrics and imagining my characters in the situations those lyrics portray. That sort of helps me think of other events that could happen that relate to the story, and kind of tells me what those characters are like. Random fact: some of my characters have theme songs now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  5. Iain Sparrow

    Iain Sparrow Contributor Contributor

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    What style writer are you?
    If you put Clive Barker's Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War, Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, and Suzanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell in a blender you'd come close to my style. Though artistic style, particularly when it comes to fiction writing is difficult to pin down.

    Do you use character spreadsheets? Are you a note taker?
    Take notes like crazy, though a bare minimum for character spreadsheets... a paragraph to get started then I allow the characters to form themselves. I also write vignettes to get a feel for an upcoming chapter, find the hooks and then it's full steam ahead!

    Do you immerse yourself in otherwise uncomfortable or unfamiliar situations to glean important research information?
    I do to a point. Not that I'm at all uncomfortable with anything I might encounter, only that I don't want ideas to get too muddled. Thankfully, my cowriter is more dogged than I at researching the time period our story inhabits. Our WIP is Gaslamp/Historical Fiction and takes place in France, in the Winter of 1792, and on the eve of the "Terror" phase of the Revolution. As we use some historical characters in the story we need to know where they are on exact dates, and what might be their emotional state, etc, etc.

    Do you start at the beginning of your novel and plow through until the end? Or do you write sections to be put in order later?
    One chapter at a time and in a straight row. After much discussion, my writing partner writes the draft and I write the final that goes off to our editor.

    Do you wake up in the middle of the night with ideas...or maybe do they dawn on you in the shower or someplace serene? Maybe you need Metallica, or Bach...or Waylan Jennings?
    Ideas spring to life at any old time, though very often while I'm at work. Indeed, some of the best ideas seem to materialize when I least expect them.:)
     
  6. SkinnyPuppy

    SkinnyPuppy Active Member

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    I am honored to have the pleasure of getting to know you all. Thank you for your responses!
     
  7. Andrew Alvarez

    Andrew Alvarez Active Member

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    I discovered on this forum that may be a pantser. It was interesting to check the concept, and have most of signs of being one.

    No exactly... mostly use profile writing and experimental stories to define characters, but apart of that, just get into the tale directly.

    Have already gone trough most of uncomfortable and unfamiliar situations I write about, except the most gore or extreme ones. Dunno if that counts. Otherwise, ask someone who has.

    I have written in both systems or methods, and the best results I got have been thanks to the "plowing through way", usually into an obsessive fashion. I use to get emotionally involved on my writing.

    My ideas haunt me by weeks or months before I put them on writing. Sometimes even years, and are permanently shape shifting until I write them, and result in being something completely different at what I had in mind, usually better. It's like they write themselves, once I give the starting point. Anguish is the most fluent source of inspiration I have. Also listen many different kinds of musical genres to get a background right, and each character has an "anthem" or defining song.

    What an interesting thread...
     
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  8. SkinnyPuppy

    SkinnyPuppy Active Member

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    You had me at each character has a theme song. For me each is scene dependent and there's one for every major shift in mood within the book.
     
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  9. Dragon Turtle

    Dragon Turtle Deadlier Jerry

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    Oh, just what I need. Another opportunity to yak about myself. :D

    What style writer are you?
    Plan the first third, pants the rest with a few key plot points in mind. As for the content, the engine that drives my plots is always characters' relationships, whether that's friendships, family, or romance. I tend to write about characters from the fringes of society, and I use a lot of gallows humor.

    Do you use character spreadsheets? Are you a note taker?
    I'm a really disorganized note taker. I jot ideas to myself, "interview" my characters, and write worldbuilding reference all in the same notebook. No structure or system, just throw stuff down as it occurs to me.

    Do you immerse yourself in otherwise uncomfortable or unfamiliar situations to glean important research information?
    Not knowingly, but just by living life I end up in uncomfortable and unfamiliar situations, and those wind up in my stories. The sorts of things I intentionally research are rarely the type I can go out and experience for myself. Do you know what a pain in the ass it is to find details on historical leather tanning methods?? Oh, I do sometimes ask my husband to pretend to hit me or put me in a choke hold and stuff. That's normal, right?

    Do you start at the beginning of your novel and plow through until the end? Or do you write sections to be put in order later?
    I used to be really strict about going from beginning to end in order. With my WIP, I've been writing a little bit out of order, and it's messing with my head!

    Do you wake up in the middle of the night with ideas...or maybe do they dawn on you in the shower or someplace serene? Maybe you need Metallica, or Bach...or Waylan Jennings?
    I come up with most of my ideas while sitting in traffic and listening to music. The effect is so powerful I have actually driven to work and back on my days off just to develop ideas. (It works!)
     
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  10. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    What style writer are you?

    As mentioned above, this can mean different things to different people. For me, the answer is that my story needs a purpose, a thing I want to say with it. I don't mean polemic. I just mean it needs to have a goal. Something basic. Like maybe I want to write a story about forgiveness, or about redemption, or about self-discovery, etc. In that vein of primordiality. The story may not have one in its most nascent stages, but as it goes along, if it doesn't eventually find one then that's typically the death knell of the project. Without that the story is rudderless.

    Do you use character spreadsheets? Are you a note taker?

    Nope, nope, nopeity-nope. I treat characters like actors. They are there to tell a story. When they don't work out, they get recast.

    Do you immerse yourself in otherwise uncomfortable or unfamiliar situations to glean important research information?

    I have, but it's not a must. I work for the USDOJ. There's not much I haven't seen or engaged as regards the uglier side of human behavior.

    Do you start at the beginning of your novel and plow through until the end? Or do you write sections to be put in order later?

    Very, very non-linear. I usually know how I want the story to end before I know anything else, but other than that scenes come to me in a temporal maelstrom.

    Do you wake up in the middle of the night with ideas...or maybe do they dawn on you in the shower or someplace serene? Maybe you need Metallica, or Bach...or Waylan Jennings?

    Running is what does it for me. I'm perfectly fine with the idea that my best ideas are endorphin-induced. Music doesn't work for me. Too distracting.
     
  11. LastMindToSanity

    LastMindToSanity Senior Member

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    What style are you?
    Personally, I like third-person limited with different characters taking the spotlight each chapter. I'm not afraid to get morbid when the scene calls for it, not am I afraid to get too gushy with the happy scenes. I generally write out important scenes listening to music, which I feel helps them get a better flow. Fantasy/Science Fiction is my preferred genre. When writing my characters, I take character archetypes that I like, make them more well rounded with traits I feel would suit the environment, and then give them necessary traits needed to accurately complete the story.

    Do you use character sheets or do you take notes?
    Actually, neither. When I make a character, I spend time getting to know them in my head so that I have all of their character on me at all times. Now, I admit that this subjects my characters to changing frequently, but, once I start their story, they never change from then on.

    Do you immerse yourself in otherwise uncomfortable or unfamiliar situations to glean important research information?
    I probably should, but I don't. I'm a big fan of character-based storytelling, so I don't really need to do much research, I just write characters that I would like to see if the story were written by someone else.

    Do you start at the beginning of your novel and plow through until the end? Or do you write sections to be put in order later?
    I tried the first one, but I barely got three chapters done before I couldn't do it anymore. I then switched to writing important sections in the story that I wanted to write at the time. This helped me get so much more down.

    Do you wake up in the middle of the night with ideas...or maybe do they dawn on you in the shower or someplace serene? Maybe you need Metallica, or Bach...or Waylan Jennings?
    Nah, I walk and listen to fast-paced music. I also generally have specific songs that help me think of specific scenes, so I will listen to that song when I want to tweak the scene I'm writing.

    This was actually kind of fun, thanks for posting this. Good luck on the forum.
     
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  12. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat

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    Me too, and it does!

    This too!

    Amen, brother, and ditto, except for me it's having grown up around a lot of substance abuse and working in Hollywood since age 16.
     
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  13. Night Herald

    Night Herald We said we wouldn't talk about Canada!

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    What style writer are you?
    In relation to the plot-character-setting trifecta, the bulk of my work is foucsed on People and Place. Plot is a necessary evil, to put a bit of a point on it.
    Other important elements include atmosphere, novelty, humor, aesthetics of language, mystery, and depth—which is not to say I'm any good at any of those. But I do appreciate and aspire to them,

    Do you use character spreadsheets? Are you a note taker?
    I've tried using character spreads, for all of about five minutes. If a character isn't memorable enough to stay intact in my memory for months and years, they're not the kind of people I want in my story.
    I do take notes from time to time, but they're usually brief, often just a single fancy name I wouldn't want to forget.

    Do you immerse yourself in otherwise uncomfortable or unfamiliar situations to glean important research information?
    Not with this intention in mind, but I do expose myself to some fairly horrible stuff—military history and the like. I often try to imagine what X might feel like, whatever X might be. I'm inquisitive.

    Do you start at the beginning of your novel and plow through until the end? Or do you write sections to be put in order later?
    Nah, not necessarily. I start with whatever inspires the story. If it's a scene or even just an image, I'll write it out, often along with the surrounding chapter. At the time, I might think this is where the story begins, but that so often turns out not to be the case. From there, I might write a series of scenes with other characters in other places, or I might work backward from the initial image, trying to figure out the events leading up to it.
    It also happens that I write in a more or less linear fashion.

    Do you wake up in the middle of the night with ideas...or maybe do they dawn on you in the shower or someplace serene? Maybe you need Metallica, or Bach...or Waylan Jennings?
    Yes, yes I do.
     
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  14. Robert Musil

    Robert Musil Contributor Contributor

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    I used to think I was a plotter, but now the jury's sort of out on that one. I'm mostly interested in SF/F. Based on one complete and one almost-complete novel, I'd say I favor stories that episodically cover rather long periods of time (years-to-decades).

    Oh yes. Sometimes it feels like I write more notes than actual prose (although I know that's not actually true). And I have all manner of spreadsheets, concept maps, visual images, family trees, schematics, and cartography as well.

    I prefer to think that with close enough observation, any situation can yield important research information.

    Vaguely the former, although with a lot of dead ends and doublings-back.

    I get ideas anywhere and everywhere.
     
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  15. SkinnyPuppy

    SkinnyPuppy Active Member

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    Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes....thank you for contributing!
     
  16. Andrew Alvarez

    Andrew Alvarez Active Member

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    I endorse this.
     
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  17. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Contributor Contributor

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    I have entire real life town like this, care to write it into oblivion from me? :p
     
  18. Night Herald

    Night Herald We said we wouldn't talk about Canada!

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    No, thank you, I'm at capacity. Starting to spring leaks. I need to get rid of at least half a continent to stifle the headaches.
     
  19. SkinnyPuppy

    SkinnyPuppy Active Member

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    Consider that a hearty dual endorsement.
     
  20. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    What style writer are you?
    I do not identify with any parameters laid down by some Cisgender punk
    Do you use character spreadsheets? Are you a note taker?
    My being is my spreadsheet, I leave it to others to take their notes or immerse in my presence as it is, may be, or was.
    Do you immerse yourself in otherwise uncomfortable or unfamiliar situations to glean important research information?
    My vision may cause you much discomfort. I cannot apologise for my vision and have no need for research, I need only open my eyes and feed minions my masterpiece, piece by piece.
    Do you start at the beginning of your novel and plow through until the end? Or do you write sections to be put in order later?
    Beginning and ending has no function in my universality. My love is to give and give is to love. Understand me or read your comic #manifesto
    Do you wake up in the middle of the night with ideas...or maybe do they dawn on you in the shower or someplace serene? Maybe you need Metallica, or Bach...or Waylan Jennings?
    What is sleep but an altered reality, but to answer your question when I shit, a brief insight, I have a sense of homor as any creature, insect or apple.
    Me? Im a plow. I love fiction based loosely on actual events. I start from the beginning and don't stop until the end. I love intricate dialogue and original/shocking/abrasive metaphors. I love to immerse myself outside all of my sensibilities, I people watch and I take notes. My characters come as I write, no sheets. I wake up often with moments of literary clarity, and I use music to channel passion.
    Thank you Bono x
    That's me. How about you? Thanks for having me here!
     
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  21. LastMindToSanity

    LastMindToSanity Senior Member

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    A+
     
  22. SkinnyPuppy

    SkinnyPuppy Active Member

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    Never been called a beef extract drink before, never the less, thanks for your anti sheeple and original contribution.
     
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  23. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    What style writer are you?
    Don't really understand the question, but right now I have absolutely no interest in fiction anyway. The thought of it leaves me cold.

    Do you use character spreadsheets? Are you a note taker?

    Neither.

    Do you immerse yourself in otherwise uncomfortable or unfamiliar situations to glean important research information?
    No. Fiction is for escape.

    Do you start at the beginning of your novel and plow through until the end? Or do you write sections to be put in order later?
    The former, except for the ploughing through part. I write until I get bored of the story/characters/writing process (usually about the 10,000 word mark if I've really committed myself to the attempt). At which point I shelve it, indefinitely.

    Do you wake up in the middle of the night with ideas...or maybe do they dawn on you in the shower or someplace serene?
    No.
     
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  24. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    == What style writer are you?

    I too am unsure about what this means, but I'm going to say that I'm most interested in character, and inside that, relationships between characters. (The second is something that I realized relatively recently.)

    == Do you use character spreadsheets?

    Nope nope. Characters come into existence through the process of me writing scenes.

    == Are you a note taker?

    Not much. I'll take occasional "don't forget to..." notes, but they're afterthoughts rather than the way that ideas first come into existence.

    == Do you immerse yourself in otherwise uncomfortable or unfamiliar situations to glean important research information?

    Eh...good question. I certainly don't do so on purpose, but growing up in a dysfunctional family, and years of participation in online support groups re dysfunctional families, might qualify as research into elements of human character.

    == Do you start at the beginning of your novel and plow through until the end? Or do you write sections to be put in order later?

    I write scenes to be put in order (or discarded) later.

    == Do you wake up in the middle of the night with ideas...or maybe do they dawn on you in the shower or someplace serene? Maybe you need Metallica, or Bach...or Waylan Jennings?

    I don't wake up in the middle of the night with ideas, but if I go to sleep thinking about a plot issue, and then sit down to write not too long after I get up, then an hour or so after I try to write, often a bunch of plot elements will abruptly line themselves up and solve the issue. It's weird.

    Ideas also come to me when I'm gardening.
     
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  25. SkinnyPuppy

    SkinnyPuppy Active Member

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    Pleased to meet you both. Mornings are most productive for me as well.
     
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