1. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Writing Process and more, from Joe Lansdale

    Discussion in 'Insights & Inspiration' started by BayView, Apr 29, 2019.

    Written by Joe Lansdale, re-posted by Dean Wesley Smith...

    https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/great-advice-from-joe-lansdale/

    I agree with what he's saying partly because it's really close to my own approach to writing, but also because he's careful to make it clear that this is what works for him, but may not be what works for everybody. As Smith says in the comments, a lot of successful, established authors don't bother sharing their process because "you just get too much crap from beginning writers who think they know the only way."

    I like that both of these successful authors acknowledge that there is no single approach that works for everyone every time.
     
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  2. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    This is really a great post! I am curious about how the maturation of the writer alters or outright changes their writing process. I'm doing multiple drafts for my current WIP, but I can understand how I could combine the functions of each draft into a single draft too.
    Thanks for the post!
     
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  3. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    That's an interesting point - I can imagine there being an element of experience involved, for sure. Being able to edit as you go suggests that you have the ability to see issues as they arise, rather than having to wait until the end of the draft to discover them.

    I started writing with fan fiction, posting chapters as I went, so I didn't really have the option of editing at the end. I think that taught me that there is no single path for a story to take, and how to adapt and accept what's been written already. Like, if I committed to Plot Option A or Characterization Z, I couldn't go back and change that even if more interesting options occurred to me later, but I could play with Options A and Z and try to include some of the elements of my shiny new ideas, or else accept that it would have been cool to do the new thing but it's fine to just finish up the old thing, too...
     
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  4. graveleye

    graveleye Active Member

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    wow, I can't even comprehend the concept of multiple drafts. In fact, I didn't know such a writing process was common. I just write it out as it comes out, re-reading and revising the previous days work as I go. If it's flowing, I will sit there and write until some physical barrier like meals, sleep or work gets in the way.
    Good read and and thanks for sharing. Lot's to think about.
     
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  5. Iain Sparrow

    Iain Sparrow Banned Contributor

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    I just can't imagine writing Draft style. It just seems like a very rigid process to commit so completely to half-formed characters and one story line. I'll definitely stick to my more dynamic way of doing things. Let the story come as it may.
     
  6. jannert

    jannert Super Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Excellent article on how he achieves his results. Lots to think about in there. Of course not everybody will work the same way, but he knows his stuff.

    A couple of things struck me when reading the article. One that I agree with (even though it's not how I work) is the idea that you can write a chapter, go back, edit and polish it, then move on, stopping to go back again when you reach the middle of the story, to ensure you're on the right track, etc, then move on—without creating 'drafts.' That sounds efficient. I suspect it's easier the more experience you have as a writer, but there's only one way to get that experience. Writing.

    He doesn't imply that he tinkers endlessly with the same chapter until it's utterly perfect before moving on, though. I got the impression that he does his editing closely, but quickly, and then moves on. He sounds to me like somebody who knows exactly what he wants from his story, and knows what he is going to do next. This mental state might be harder to achieve for a new writer, who maybe hasn't figured out much about character development or even plot, but wants to get writing to see how things evolve. However, if the new writer uses this method, gets to the end and realises it still needs a lot of work and maybe even major revision ...they at least have created a first draft, and can work from that! So it's a win-win. Either they can go straight to publication (via a few tweaks) or they've given themselves a lot of material to work with.

    I suspect that I will write my number two novel in a more linear way than I did the first one—more like his method. I'm hoping not to make the same mistakes I did the first time, and I already know exactly where THIS story is going. I've learned a lot, but it's taken a while.

    I'm totally on board with his idea that you write as if you are the only person on earth. To hell with what anybody else is going to think of your story. I made the conscious decision (stated in my head) when I wrote my novel, that I would write honestly and not censor myself for fear of somebody not liking what I wrote. It's a very liberating feeling. It's what made writing so much fun for me.

    I also loved that he doesn't like to tell people what his story is about. Yep. Me neither.

    I'm definitely not in the 'said'-is-most-desirable-dialogue-tag camp, though. But that's a matter of preference. I don't enjoy reading stories that are just 'said said said,' and I wouldn't want to write one. But there are lots of things I wouldn't want to write (or read.) That doesn't mean they're bad. They're just not my taste. As my taste isn't everybody's.

    Excellent article. I LOVE reading about other people's writing routines and tricks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
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  7. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Good article! Joe is fun to follow on twitter as well.
     
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