How you write

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jinral, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. Jinral

    Jinral The yet to be published

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    realmofjinral.com
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    Now I know everyone has a unique style of how they like to write. I have recently finished writing my second book, having written both of them in very different fashions. My second one was written in order, from beginning to end with not outlining, a experiment in the train of thought. For those of you who have been reading you can attest to the fact it has been very scatterbrained, with little focus on maintaining characters. Safe to say its going to take me months just to reorganize and rewrite it.

    My first however was a different story, it took longer to write initially, but what I did was imagine different scenes. The beginning, a couple critical battles, a romance seen, scene unveiling a sinister plot, and of course the climatic ending. From there I filled in the gaps the best I could utilizing the character's personalities to deduce how they got from point a-b-c and so on. While I found this very effective and also entertaining to write, it left little room for broadening the horizons. I would come up with new ideas for great things, but they had to be removed because they just didn't fit. Honestly though, I am much happier using this method, the story comes to fruition a lot "cleaner"

    What about you guys, any particular style you like to use?
     
  2. WildPony

    WildPony New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    The Wilderlans
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    I have the beginning and the end, that's how I start. Then, I have certain events that need to happen, the rest I fill in as I go along.
     
  3. pudley333

    pudley333 Shadioux Ethia

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Falador
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    I tell my stories in my head, writing them down if I like them. Or I just write a short story and let the characters take me where they want.
     
  4. gumboot

    gumboot lorcutus.tolere

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    I've tried various methods, and think I have settled on one that works for me. When starting a new project, I'll tend just to write immediately, and get the beginning out while I'm all fired up and motivated. Inevitably the pace will slow as the hard slog settles in, and at this point I'll stop writing and step back to begin structuring. I prefer being relatively broad in my structuring, without going into every single detail of the plot and scenes. Then I'll continue with the writing, and naturally the story will evolve as I progress and the narrative offers up "surprises". Once I've finished the initial draft the serious structuring comes in, and I'll be brutal. I'll set rigid story structures, and mercilessly cut away anything that doesn't comply.

    I also tend to grade the detail of structure to levels. My works tend to be multi-volume (let's call them "Books"), which each book further divided into sections (let's call them "Acts"). When I'm writing a given Act I'll have the structure for that Act worked out pretty thoroughly, with a clear dramatic structure, character arcs, all of my subplots, and so forth. Above that, I'll have in mind the broader structure of the particular Book, but less detailed, and finally above that will be the structure of the entire Series, which will be even less concrete.

    Once I finish all the Acts of a Book I'll work back through it and build a much more concrete structure, and make sure the various Acts comply with that structure.
     
  5. Cara

    Cara New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Norway
    Ratings:
    +7 / 0 / -0
    I have countless stories in my head, my trouble is getting them down on paper. What I have gotten on paper are usually just ...episodes, I guess.
     
  6. Nightfox

    Nightfox Assassin

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2013
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Tamriel
    Ratings:
    +7 / 0 / -0
    Before I start to write a single word, I first make a concept of my story. What will happen when and where and through which character's view I want to tell it? This comes into this concept. After this I start writing. But I don't start with the beginning. I hate writing the beginning, because I'm very bad at this. I write that part of the story, I want to write at that moment. For that I need the concept. With its help I know, what was before the specific scene, I write, and what has to happen in there, what the characters know and what will happen after it. The concept shows me also, which chapters are completed. Of course the concept isn't written in stone. If i get new ideas while writing, I will put them into the concept and change it. If I see, that I'll need more chapters for this or that, I'll change this in the concept. If I see, that the story won't develop as I expected or that some events or character's actions don't make sense, I'll change that in the concept. When all chapters are written, I will put the parts together and read through the whole story, looking for mistakes in both grammar/spelling and story. I also look, if the parts fit together well. I completed one story with this method so far.
     
  7. Tamago

    Tamago 愛(kanji for love)

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    75
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Bucharest
    Ratings:
    +105 / 0 / -0
    I am well familiar to this type of feeling. Even though I did not have this problem in the past, I recently find it difficult to express on paper more than just episodes, and scenes (that usually end up being inconsistent and unworthy of attention). Building up stories in one's mind is surely appropriate, but it might be very demanding at times to make a right connection between what is in your mind and what is, will or should be on the paper. There are many people who have a slight tendency toward the inability of properly expressing words in writing. However, I do believe this gap, this tormenting moment of getting the two unconsciously disconnected can be overcome by exercise. Exercising the style, writing down words more or less freely, revising the writing -changing ideas, if necessary, coming back to the text if it is truly bothering you, and so on... It might take a lot of work at first, but I am sure that there will be some positive results.
    As for me, I recognize this to be a crisis I suppose I will face the same way.
     
  8. The Last Voice They Hear

    The Last Voice They Hear Velut umbra

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0 / -0
    My approach generally resembles a shotgun blast to literary creation: it's always messy but occasionally yields spectacular results. Although I keep the overarching plot in mind as I write I zoom all over the place, from A to Z, in pursuit of the endgame. Invariably this means a lot of work in the editing stage to connect all the dots together, but having tried a more linear approach I find it far more entertaining to follow my nose rather than slavishly slog from chapter to chapter.
     
  9. Scott Kaelen

    Scott Kaelen New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    My stories are fluid while in draft form. I start with an event, or a situation. I enter the story at a pivotal point. I don't always have an idea of where it's going to end. Sometimes it goes in a direction I wasn't at all expecting, and sometimes that's all for the better.
    The element of surprise - especially for a writer - is a beautiful thing. I have a fully fleshed-out world for my epic fantasy series, so whatever's round the next corner or under the next stone can sometimes be something unexpected even for me as I'm writing it. I play alternative dialogues in my head, casually and spontaneously, let them do their thing and let the characters get a feel for each other. If they're old friends, then they need to act like people who know each other well, and the only way to do that is to have "behind-the-scenes" conversations.
    Dialogue is perhaps the most important aspect of a story. I really dislike characters that have no depth, that the writer obviously hasn't put much effort into backstory, personality, etc. If two or more of your characters sound the same, do the same sorts of things, then you've got too many characters and need to merge them. Dialogue needs wit. Everyone has a certain level of wit and humour in real life, and all too often in epic fantasy (or just in fantasy in general) characters are sooooo boring, have little or no humour, have no concept of banter, etc. When all your characters are serious, lacking wit, charm, intelligence, deviousness, joviality, or any of a bunch of "human" characteristics, then you've got a problem and your writing is suffering for it.
    As for the prose in general, there are golden guidelines for how to write well, rather than just vomiting out a story and thinking it's the dog's danglers. If you haven't learned how to write scenes and sequences, how to write dynamic and engaging prose, how to show more often than tell, etc., then you're just writing a story for yourself and maybe for your friends. It might be interesting in concept, but in execution it's probably failed because you're not really a writer. Writers accept criticism from peers, they give their work to skilled critiquers to get line-by-line critiques. A good writer has climbed this particular hill, and their prose is all the better for it. A bad writer thinks they're already so good they don't need to do any of that.
     
  10. Midnattblod

    Midnattblod Ranger of Shadow

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Messages:
    6,002
    Likes Received:
    365
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Ulfgard
    Ratings:
    +528 / 3 / -0
    I write different scenes at random, while also working from the beginning onward, until it all fits, granted I'm not sure how it's going to work, since I haven't gotten much of the actual story done yet, but I think I'm making some progress on that so yea.
     
  11. Anna Peck

    Anna Peck The Fable Functionary

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    I tend to write my scenes first and then arrange them in what I think is the right order. It's then I can see what works and what doesn't. I get rid of what doesn't. Then I write the connecting action to bring everything together. I find this works pretty well for me. Or at least it has for the 15 books I now have published so far.