Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Kit, May 12, 2007.
Just thought it would interesting to see what people tend to do more...
It depends on what I'm working on. I tend to work in circles and spirals on things -- stories, exams, anything -- so it's usually a constant oscillation between planning out an idea and then trying to run with what I've got until I need to think again. With poetry I just go and rewrite lines and move things around as the poem changes and the ideas work themselves out. With a story I start with a character or an idea, let it sit for a while, and then get a greater sense of what I want to do with it after I've written a page or two. I've never sat down and planned an entire piece.
Well, I voted 'what comes to mind', but that doesn't always apply. I usually have a vague idea of a beginning and an ebding, but the journey inbetween is usually just wherever the story takes me right then. Sometimes, if it doesn't work, I change the story completely, and sometimes the ending I had planned changes for that reason. So, I don't plan in detail, but I have some sort of plan in mind while I write.
I usually come up with a basic idea and then start writing. Then I'll sit back going, "Oh No!!!! What have I done? Where is this going? I've ruined it. AAHHH!!!!!"
Then I'll start thinking about how to save it, come up with a good plot idea, plot it all out in my head, and commence writing the next day.
At some point I'll start writing whatever is in my head again, ignoring the plot, and go through it all over again.
Usually, some random idea or situation hits me in the head that I really like and I just run with it for a while. For instance, what kind of story/plot would I need to have the first sentence read: "The bumper of the car shattered the man's calf bones instantly, and sent him flying fifty feet forward."
Also, when I have a situation to start with (with no general ending in mind) I write in small, stop-and-go bursts. I'll write, contemplate for maybe an hour or less, and write the best thing that comes to mind, and then go eat dinner or do dishes, come back and write what I came up with, and leave again. I come up with better refined elements than just stream-of-consciousness.
Sometimes, hearing a song that I really like on the radio will trigger my urge to write something. Likewise, I commonly develop scenes while listening to many kinds of music, and I use those rythms to organize and add "layers" to the scene, where it could be calm one moment, and violent the next.
As for the actually narration, it leans more towards (possibly droll) descriptions rather than much dialogue.
I find it ironic that I hated Tom Clancy's work novels for being too boring when I read them long ago, yet he is the closest author to which I can compare narration style to.
But when I do write dialogue, I have to scriblle or tap it out as fast as possible so that it maintains its real-life cadence, and doesn't seem pe-i-ced to-geth-er and blocky. This means that when I finish writing a passage of dialogue, Im usually speant for the day.
Also, as my first BIG writing project (first time I had organized a story and attempted to finish it typed, as versus scribbling a few bad paragraphs on binder paper) was in many ways a satire/mild-comedy before it was the action I intended it to be, much of my narration contains inronic statements, sarcasm, or sometimes satire. Much of this matches some of Daivd Drake's "Hammer's Slammers" narration, as those books were my main inspiration.
I'm a Mambo Number 5-er: A little bit of this, a little bit of that.
I like writing what comes to mind. It gives you more freedom, and allows you to open up the plot much more.
I write whatever comes to mind but I can't just sit down and say to myself, "Ok write something." xD I have to have seen, heard or otherwise experienced something that sparks of an idea before I start to write. The longer I think about the idea, the more it warps into other directions.
When I write..... (hmm, should really do that sometime!) I have characters worked out more than the plot. Then again, I scribble down a rough plot that makes me go YESSSS!! And get all excited while people look at me oddly....
But in the end, my characters are real to me. i have had one character with me since I was fifteen, which is around twelve and a bit years now. I have evolved her and made her solid.
So I tend to see how I go.. which is probably why I'm stuck at the moment... Plot and planning and stuff is good, but I rekon if you get that spark, write it before you lose it!
it depends on what i'm writing... you seem to be asking only about fiction... and novels, specifically... but there are other kinds of writing, you know ;-)
for a short story, the first poll choice usually works best... for novels, at some point one must do some planning, of course, but you could well start out just writing...
with novels, i'd do that, then get into the plot-planning nitty-gritty after my first spate of creative genius had run its course and i was ready to settle down to write something that would hang together well and make sense...
i see no need to 'plan' characters, though i'm not sure what you may mean by that...
for all else, i don't plan, i just write...
I come up with an idea...a scene or a situation and the start jotting and organizing ideas and characters from there.
I'm strongly against writnig anything which comes to mind. Writer must walk on planning, leave inspiration for poets.
Is not a poet a writer also?
In my experience, poetry requires far more discipline than prose, at least to write poetry well.
I do not consider free association writing of phrases and sentence fragments to be poetry, however. I've seen many examples of that kind of "poetry" that are little more than rambling. I've written that way muself, in high school. The same thoughts would have been far better expressed in full sentences and paragraphs.
I would like to know what approach really works best for writing, however. Any piece, whether meticulously planned before the first entence is drafted, or whther written in a manic stream as inspiration burns brightly, must be reviewed, revised, and reworked to turn it into something ready for another human being to appreciate. But which approach is really best?
For my part, if I don't put it on paper (or on bits) as it is forming in my mind, I probably never will. But then again, I've not written anything that I consider ready for publication.
Separate names with a comma.