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whitesilkbreeze
February 10th, 2006, 07:48 AM
How do you, personally, go about your writing? Do you just write without planning and revise it later, or do you use outlines? If you use outlines, what kind of outline do you use?

tooeviltoknow
February 10th, 2006, 09:17 AM
I write all of my short stories with no outline. All I have in my mind is the beginning, the middle, and the ending. After I form what I want inside my mind, I just start typing away. Of course, this also results in only about one out of six stories being completed… Which brings the total number of stories to two. As for my novel, I do a little outline, but nothing big. Of course, this is just me. I can’t speak for anyone else.

tracyt1800
February 10th, 2006, 10:00 AM
For my short stories I try to come up with the twist, then the beginning and end, and then I just write it after I've dwelled on it for a few weeks.

Novel ... I'm having trouble getting started because I'm trying to approach it like my short stories and that's definitely not working. I'm going to try that "Snowflake" method that juzzza posted about.

It's located here: http://www.sffworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8763

hU$h3rN7242c
February 10th, 2006, 11:46 AM
For short stories, I write a mini-outline with possible thoughts and progression of the stories.

For books, I write a chapter by chapter outline, including any special hooks or twists. I rough those out, and try to think through all pieces that are integral for flow.

After the outlines are done, I go back and write. If I come up with a new twist, or the original ideas do not work, I go back and tweak the outlines.

simon woodhouse
February 10th, 2006, 01:32 PM
Sometimes the characters come first and sometimes the plots. Or more often than not I'll picture a character, and think how interesting it would be to put them in a story. But I don't, I file them away in the back of my mind. Sometime later (weeks/months), I'll be in the first stages of planning a novel and I'll remember a specific character, and realize they'll fit in with what I'm thinking about. It's normally better if they don't fit perfectly, because that gives the story an edge.

Then it's lots of planning. I like to make sure I know the character's relationships – how much does that person know about that person, and so on. I write a brief history of each character, because what happened to them in the past affects how they are in the present, and I do the same for the world they're living in. I set a standard of technology and try to make sure it's consistent – if they're traveling faster than light they're not going to be using cars with internal combustion engines.

Even with all this planning though, the novel usually change at some point during the writing. Not in a major way, but as the characters develop, personality traits come out I hadn't anticipated and it becomes obvious they wouldn't do things exactly as I planned. I like it when this happens; it shows the characters are 'alive'.

pcarney
February 10th, 2006, 02:13 PM
My ideas come to me as a single scene, usually the beginning of the story. The rest of the story materializes (or doesn't) from that. As far as actual mechanics of writing, I'm still working on that. I've been pounding away on my current WIP and ignoring that damned monkey screeching 'This stinks' in my ear. As a result, I've gotten a lot farther then ever before. Just gotta finish it up!
Of course, as I struggle with this, I've already come up with another scene and another story I'd like to work on. But hard experience has FINALLY taught me to ignore that- I refuse to work on something else until I have a first draft of my WIP.

Tari
February 12th, 2006, 02:33 AM
I rarely sit down with an intention to write a new story . . .

As for short stories, they usually just pop into my head and i spontaneously will write them or parts of them and then review it and link bits etc later. It's rare that I'll mull over a short story long.

As for stories which are longer, (novella's etc) I'm yet to complete my first novel, although i have written several novella's and plays and i set about these in similar fashion to each other. With novella's i will mull over it for at least a week or two, discovering more about my characters and wrting notes about places etc in the piece. I will write out a basic plot line and snippets of different scenes etc. I have tried writing chapter outlines etc before but found i never follow them and they become a waste of time. . . of which i dont have much anyway . . .

this is just me. . . .everyone is different.

~ Tari

sfxfantasy
February 13th, 2006, 09:22 PM
I'm very new to writing. Still polishing up my first three books. The first part of my story actually came to me in dreams. I didn't intend to write a book at first but had insomnia until I actually wrote down the dreams, scene after scene. They were somewhat related.

After that, it was reordering the scenes, adding in more scenes from daydreams during a very long road trip, adding more pepper and salt, adding more characters and scenes that I thought would be interesting to form a first draft. The original was mainly about two characters with a little about a third character. The final story with lots of additional stuff added in has more characters.

No outline, no plans. Just let the story tell itself. Funny thing is that the parts that came for dreams are a lot better than the ones I forced in myself.

Tari
February 14th, 2006, 04:47 AM
I'm very new to writing. Still polishing up my first three books. The first part of my story actually came to me in dreams. I didn't intend to write a book at first but had insomnia until I actually wrote down the dreams, scene after scene. They were somewhat related.

After that, it was reordering the scenes, adding in more scenes from daydreams during a very long road trip, adding more pepper and salt, adding more characters and scenes that I thought would be interesting to form a first draft. The original was mainly about two characters with a little about a third character. The final story with lots of additional stuff added in has more characters.

No outline, no plans. Just let the story tell itself. Funny thing is that the parts that came for dreams are a lot better than the ones I forced in myself.

Welcome then SXF. . .dont mind it's just shorter than writing your whole name. . . . Well if it means anything the first proper story i wrote came form a dream i remembered i had when i was seven, i had it randomly for years so i wrote it down. . my first successful short story/picture book. . . .unfortunately it went up in flames last year. . but hey wat can ya do?. . .lol. . .anywayz I wouldn't call polishing opff your first three books new to writing. . .but welcome anywayz :D . . .if you need anything give us a shout.

~ Tari

MrBF1V3
February 14th, 2006, 10:54 PM
I'm not very good at outlines. My few 'outline' stories have been disasters.

Most of the time I start with a scene, usually something has me thinking, a phrase or a picture, something like that. Then I translate what I'm thinking about into a scene. Then I work on what happens next, and next, and next... Somewhere in this process I begin to figure what will happen next, and what the overall story might look like. I'll write a few notes, a sentence or two a couple of lines down on the word processer. I'll do a few of those, then work on putting those scenes together with what I've written before and after. Sometimes I move things around, delete whole sections because I have a better idea. Then I'll put it all together, polish it up, let someone else read the story, then rewrite everything because it made sense to me at the time, but based on the feedback I have even better ideas.

After a few years of this process :rolleyes: I might have a pretty good story.

Does this help at all?

B5