Discussion in 'Writing' started by milamber_reborn, Oct 16, 2001.
Now we know what's most difficult. What is the most fun part of writing a story?
Where to begin?
I love it all. The initial spark of inspiration. The meticulous planning, giving depth to characters and worlds. The first draft which gives the spark substance and direction. The editing, and editing, and editing - the refining of the story. That moment when you
realize the story is as good as you can possibly make it.
I guess my favorite part is the editing (all the hundreds of edits I do). The editing is where my voice is heard. It is where the story goes from being an idea to a story. It is where art and creativity is born. My absolute favorite is when I’m having a difficult time with a particular passage, paragraph, sentence, or phrase and then I realize the perfect word to use or phrase or if I change the scene slightly everything will fall into place.
But then, that’s just me.
(Now I’m wondering how many different stories we would get, if we took a bare boned first draft short short story and opened it up for everyone to edit it and make it their own. This might be an interesting writing exercise to try instead of another collaborative story. Just a thought.)
My fav part of writing?... Hm...
First is interaction between the characters.
Second is world-building.
And... I mean no offence to Kats here, but, IMHO, there is a time you must draw the line and realise that the editing is finished. Or you can edit a text for the rest of your life. That is true, and I'm guilty of it myself many, many times. When I take a look on a story I've writen and edited, I always find something that "would have been better if writen that way".
It's creative to look at your stories again (for two reasons mainly: 1, you are in touch with the story, if you're writing the sequence; 2, you change some things... to the better, you hope), but there is also a time you must move on.
Everyone has his/her way, of course. So...
...don't flame me now, Kats!!! j/k
[This message has been edited by Bardos (edited October 16, 2001).]
I agree, there is a time to move on (did I say there isn’t?). The question is when? Personally, I think a lot of writers (especially novice writers) make the mistake of moving on too quickly.
The way I gauge the progress of a story is if I still see changes that need to be made when I proofread it. Believe it or not, I do get to the point where I am satisfied with the story.
I suppose I’m just a bit of a perfectionist. And I know that most readers can’t tell the difference between my story “The Price of Disobedience” (as the story was some 20 odd edits ago) and “Curiosity’s Folly” (the final product). The differences are subtle, but I know they are there. And hopefully the editors will appreciate these subtleties.
By the way, writing is not the only thing I’m this anal about . . . I tend to start my Christmas shopping list in July and I do mean list (which I keep for future reference). I also keep track of the Christmas cards I send each year so I don’t send the same card to the same person twice.
[This message has been edited by KATS (edited October 16, 2001).]
...Imagine what would have happened, if I haven't asked: "Don't flame me"...
I wish I knew how to do the emote that has the tongue sticking out.
(No flame intended, this or the previous post.)
The most fun part of writing for me is formulating an original concept. Even though there will be lots of creative thoughts along the way, to embellish and flesh out the idea, conceiving something new has a thrill to it that nothing else can equal.
I really like the idea of taking a "bare-boned" story and fleshing it out to see how we end up with the differences. But in a way, that's what many stories are - a re-telling of "old" themes...at least in fantasy.
For instance: "the younger person finds they have a special destiny...which means they have to learn how to exploit it fast to save the realm, their friends or ideals from destruction."
In contrast, in sci-fi stories the idea is often what shapes everything in the story. Usually the writing explores some plausible scientific characteristic and what that special idea might mean to the characters in the imagination of the writer.
So, methinks this idea of having a story to "flesh-out" would be easiest with a fantasy storyline.
I guess my favorite part is the idea of a sci-fi story.
So if this experiment were a sci-fi story, maybe someone would just offer the idea and we'd have to leave some of the story blank to see how people wrote about what the idea meant?? Any other ideas how to do a "bare-bone" sci-fi story in this way?
All you people out there who want someone to write your idea, step forward!
One of my favorite parts of writing is when you get to this point where everything just comes out, where your no longer concentrating on it, it all sort of just.....happens. Whenever you reach this bizarre sort of zen, where everything clicks without the use of concentration, it's really exciting. It's like you dig a hole into your brain by working on a project for long hours, and you finally find this buried treasure that you never knew you had in you. The only problem is, how do you get there intentionally? I haven't figured that part out yet, and I doubt I ever will. I've just found that it happens most often after working for long periods of time with minimal breaks in between. But whenever it does happen, it's worth the wait...
Another aspect of writing that I really like is how you have comeplete control over your story, to twist it and mold it as you please. If you feel like you'd like to reward a character, then you're completely free to do so. If you'd like to kill off a character, then go ahead and give him the axe. The possibilities are endless, which is why it's a lot of fun.
I also like the fact that you can write in the style that most pleases you. Sometimes, when I'm reading, habits or styles of authors can get on my nereves. For example, I don't usually enjoy overly descriptive authors. It usually slows down the story, and often times, a lot of the descriptions aren't even necessary. This is just a matter of personal tastes, but that's exactly my point. You can write in whatever style pleases. There are no rules or limitations to style, and I like that.
These are just a few of the things that I like about writing. There's really a lot to like once you get into it...
IMHO, that's why fantasy is progressing so slowly. Personaly, I have never writen the boy-becomes-world-savior story... nor I think I'll ever will. Every time I write fantasy, I try to use something new. A new creatures, a new type of magic, a new race, something. And, of course, I never use the old classic sterotypes --elves, dwarves, etc; even dragons I try to avoid! It's better to create something new, methinks.
And something Alucard said about the flow of the story, made me ask this question (I just have to ask it!):
--Do ever the "bad guys" win in your stories??--
Perhaps not total victory, but... a victory nonetheless.
Bardos,if your asking me personally, yes, the bad guys do win at times. I wouldn't give them the final victory, per say, but I like to have both sides make progress throughout a story, for the sake of tension. It's usually more interesting if there's a good chance that either side could lose...
Yes, I do like writing the "evil" characters, because for me evil and good are all mixed up.
My awareness of how much fun "bad" characters could be came from a very ancient D&D session. I was running this "chaotic good" character who was mortally trapped...unfortunately while holding a "sure to make you evil" crown. Starting a new character wouldn't be able to survive in the world level I was playing. The only way I could prevent my character from dying, (and I could keep playing) was to put on the crown.
After she became evil, I never realized how fun it was to be her. Sometimes evil characters are so much more authentic and inventive than "good" ones.
In that D&D series of sessions of that "dungeon," my evil character ultimately "won." She ended up Queen of many minions and realms while the other players kept dying. It was an ironic feeling, when evil triumphed. Especially strange since "I" was the mastermind behind the evil one's success.
Developing evil characters is cool. Villians that readers love to hate. The problem is that most people would be disappointed if the main characters did not triumph, in my opinion. Especially if you symapathise with them.
On the other hand, it would highly original if used in the right way.
My favorite part of writing is crafting the world and the characters. I think I might be a bit of a mechanic, always tuning a word here or there, tweeking the description of an event to ensure the reader's skin crawls...I love the research, the initial stages of development when everything floats in your imagination before coalescing into more solid images...I love the writing, struggling over the right sentence or bit of dialogue, getting it and moving on...going back to read a section and saying, "Yeah! this is what I menat to write!"...having people read the work and respond to it...pretty much the only thing I don't like is WHEN MY COMPUTER DIES (SERIOUS MALFUNCTION THREE WEEKS AGO) AND I CAN'T AFFORD TO HAVE IT FIXED OR REPLACED! Services will be held for my laptop this sunday...
I don't like being limited by the tools...but wee live in an imperfect physicakl universe...so I'd better learn to live with it.
I don't know what I like best (sometimes editing, sometimes the initial writing...) I don't plan in advance, except roughly - I prefer the world to reveal itself as I go along, and to permit the unexpected. I do know that I like the whole obsessional possession that comes over you when you are deeply working on a novel. Maybe it gives purpose to my life??? Maybe I like to pretend I'm God?
Alis, I know the feeling.
I'm an anti-hero girl, myself...
The villian you hate to love.
As far as my favorite part of writing goes...I would say the editing. I hate getting that first draft on paper. This is why I have yet to submit anything for publication of any type.
I just love to punch the keys ....punch! ...punch!......punch!Wow that was cool....of course it doesen't hurt to write somthing somone will read ether!
The most thrilling part for me is the idea of a joint imaginary trip. The reader and the writer are going into each others minds in a way.
Separate names with a comma.