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Artistic Wizard
October 11th, 2002, 01:16 AM
When you sit down to write, how many of you go straight to the blank computer screen and start pounding on those keys?

My question is this: What steps do you take when you write?

Personally I can't sit in front of a computer and initially write. My ideas wont flow. The screen hypnotizes me, or something.

I normally 1st write in a large spiral bound notebook. I consider this my very rough and loose draft. crossing things out here, drawing lines from here to their, writing footnotes in the margins, etc...My thoughts seem to flow very well writing this way. rough and loose. Not worring about punctuation or spelling, just writing.

Then I take what I have and rewrite it (by hand) again (making revisions, changes, corrections and the like) in a hard bound book I lable: volume 1, chapters 1 through how ever many I can fit in that book.

Then after that I will sit down in front of the PC and write, what I consider to be the final version (That still may need editing for grammer, punctuation etc...)

This seems to work great for me. My ideas generally flow quite consistently, and I find that taking these extra steps help to refine my writing, and improve my ideas and stories. My final version is usually VERY different from the beginning rough draft.

Is anyone else this anal, or go to these extremes when they write?

So far I have written 14 chapters in my novel.(close to halfway finished if I stay on track) And this method, although long, seems to work for me.

I would love to here from everyone. Is anyone else a freak like me, or am I just a systematic anal spaz?

:confused: :D

October 11th, 2002, 01:42 AM
Wizard, I try to stay the Hell away from the computer especially when Iím trying to write!
Itís too noisy, too distracting and too tempting to lead you off into other things.
Plus on a PC is that annoying little invisible smarty-pants, know-it-all ďspelling and grammarĒ Gremlin, that underlines stuff in red and green all the time as youíre writing it. Good for editing, lousy for keeping your flow.
I find, like yourself that a pad, a pen and a quiet environment are more conducive to writing.
Iíve recently been transferring some drafts of some old stories onto my PC, but I still find it damn distracting as PC with it's, games, various messenger services, e-mails etc all trying to lure me from my task.
I recently thought about getting a really cheap old second hand laptop with just a basic word processor on it for writing, that way I could edit it on the laptop without fear of distraction and transfer the final draft to the main computer later.
There is something about writing with good old-fashioned pen and paper though that just seems to enhance the thought processes and general flow and creativity IMO.
So donít worry, you are not alone.

October 11th, 2002, 02:11 AM
I make sure I know gnerally what I'm about to write, then I write.

I jot down notes as ideas come to me (quite often when I'm trying to get to sleep or when I'm inconveniantly busy). I type them up in files.

I always write on the PC though. Writing lots with pen and paper sucks and its good to edit as you go on the PC.

October 11th, 2002, 02:32 AM
Used to write on A4 pads, but now on PC. It is a god send to me... I can rattle off stuff save it, cut, paste, re-use ideas.

Sometimes have four or five screens open with half written abandoned stuff on, sifting through for good ideas to add to or pinch for newer works...

"The Hat Man" was developed from about four or five abandoned pieces.(second book, out publisher hunting)

"The bitterness of Mulicifer" has sections from others changed and developed, the story line a mixture of three previous ideas.(Hopefully this will be going up on the site soon)

The starting idea for "Shards in the Heart" were new, but the " inner world" has existed a long time... and was a fully developed fantasy world in note form I ditched the pervious characters but kept their world.( A section of this is on another site, which accepts more Adult material)

A quiet house, a semi darkened room and the machine and I.

I suppose K, I work very much like "Ruby" ;)

October 11th, 2002, 02:34 AM
I imagined you did H, I definitely saw some of you in her.:)

October 11th, 2002, 03:04 AM
Originally posted by kahnovitch
I imagined you did H, I definitely saw some of you in her.:)

That thought is quite frightening in a way....:eek:

As for "Ruby's adventures in the Fens...." I hopefully can get to finish chapter two or rather chapter two, Act one this weekend. I intend the "inner world" to be all acts of chapter two... Chapter three will be "back " in Ruby's world and is drafted out...

I hope to bring this story in at about 50,000 words as I am targeting a specific publisher.

Also I doubt I could maintain the intense nature of the piece for more than that length.

edited for typossss

James Barclay
October 11th, 2002, 05:23 AM
I write a fair bit of a first draft in A5 notebooks but that's a function of where I write (coffee shops, tube trains, planes etc). Right now, almost everything is going striaght on to PC as I'm at home for a coule of weeks.

The other technique I use for structuring ideas is to write single events or thoughts or reminders, whatever, on to strips of paper and lay them all out on a table. It's good for getting the mind in gear, I find and also allows you to muck about with your order.

Aik Haw
October 11th, 2002, 05:25 AM
I carry a little notebook ( the primitive, low tech paper based notebook ) with me all the time to jot down some ideas etc.. However, my actual writing is done in front of the computer. My editing is done on paper since it is amazing how many flaws you can spot once the words are printed!!

Pirate Jenn
October 11th, 2002, 03:44 PM
As with others, a notebook goes with me everywhere. But all writing is done on laptop. Laptop living is too wonderful. Jotting ideas while taking notes during a lecture... it's too good. Don't know how I got through undergrad without it. ;)

Sometimes, I take notes on the backs of envelopes. It seems like every stroy file began that way--and I'm not sure why. They're rather convenient. If I have a napkin note or something small like that, I tuck it into the envelope. (we're talking the #10 regulars, here.)

October 11th, 2002, 04:03 PM
Maybe that's my problem - until recently I did very little planning.

Years ago I wrote my first novel in longhand on looseleaf paper that I stuck into a binder. The problem though (aside from the fact that is was full of cliches and the fantasies of a fifteen year old kid) was that it got really boring trying to transfer if over to the computer - it felt too much like work and not enough like fun.

Today everything goes straight onto the laptop, but I do keep notebooks for brainstorming and sketching ideas, keeping track of characters - that sort of thing. All the technology in the world still doesn't seem to be as efficeint as an old fashioned pencil and paper when one needs to scribble down a map.