View Full Version : Writing Methods
March 3rd, 2005, 01:27 PM
Ok, I've been wondering for a while, do everyone here have a method that they go by when they write or do they just go with the flow? As for me, I have a writing structure that I sometimes go by. The structure is broken down into three parts and takes the form of a house (hey, don't laugh) and it goes something like this:
1) The first part is considered the basic, and what all writers need to get their story started. To me, this is known as the stepping stones: Characters, the five "W" (who, what, where, when and why of the story), and location/ journey.
2) The second part is the conflict, which to me is the hardest part. Anything can become a confict against the main character, but I like to keep it to four mental/physical theme. This is considered the pillars and this is what your story revols around. For some stories it is Racial intolerane, distrust of people who are different, social class distinction and pride in ancestry and tradition. Of course this one depends on the writer as well.
3) The third part of this structure is considered the roof. This is the cause and effect of the story, both before and after everything has happened.
But anyway, this is simply my opinion alone. Let me know what you guys think or how you would do yours.
March 3rd, 2005, 01:59 PM
I have some vague idea what I want to write, but planning is boring so I plunge right in.
I write some length of text (could be a sentence, could be a few paragraphs). Then I get stuck. I go back and read what I've really written, intending to compare it with my intention. I then find out that I forgot what my intention was. Alright, what's on the page is good enough to go on (there is a rough plan in my head, isn't it?).
I get stuck again. I read it all again, find that what I've written first clashes with what I've just added. Take out the middle, or shuffle sentences around, re-write a bit, until I've got a micro-scene.
Eventually that approach adds up to a story or a fragment or...
When all is done the editing begins.
I can't count the number of times I've designed a scene around a particularly strong and brilliant ending, only to find upon reaching the end, that the scene doesn't support that strong and brilliant ending.
Oh, writing method...
March 3rd, 2005, 03:36 PM
I think I tend to work similar to the way Dawnstorm described. It took me a while to figure out that this was how I worked, and it's incredibly inefficient, but it's just how I am. Because writing for me is a hobby, not a trade, I've allowed myself to be content with inefficiency.
I start out in a rough phase phase that's partly brainstorming, but not just that. There's also a lot of writing involved. Sometimes I'll have upwards of 60 pages. Most of it is pure intellectual vomit. In this stage I get down the ideas that are swirling around in my head. I start writing the characters. I generate a basic plot line.
Then I let it sit and generally go on to another project. This is the dormant phase. I come back to the story from time to time - read the good parts. Do a little bit of editing, but for the most part it's left alone.
Finally I have the polish phase. This is the part where I pick it up, get excited about it again, and flush it out. I read it, discover the themes, work out the characters, and make a lot of edits.
I have a lot of stuff stuck between the dormant and polish phases.
March 4th, 2005, 04:09 AM
First I get a big roll of paper hand towel and write the most outrageous opening paragraph I can think up on the outside. Then I tease out the other end from the middle and write the most awesome slam-dunk ending ever and tuck it back in, then I go on a mighty bender and scrawl in the rest... no hang on... that's not me that's some other writer...
March 4th, 2005, 05:31 AM
I just bash the stuff out. I formulate a rough idea of the chapter and what is going to happpen. Then I write it. I do very little editing or whatnot. I just write and get the main stuff down on the page. This is what I like to call Draft 0
I generally write in sections. I'll sit down and write the first scene from a chapter. Then later on, maybe the next day, I'll sit down and write the next scene. Not a particularly fast process I admit, but the gaps in between give me time to mull over problems in what I've already written or what I'm intending to write and make the whole process smoother.
Once I've got a chapter done (usually in three days or so) I'll go on to the next. I leave the chapter I've just doen in its rough, unedited form. Only every 5 chapters do I stop and then go back to the start, editing and re-writing.
Maybe sounds a little strange, but that's the way I do it. And it works, at least for me. :)
March 4th, 2005, 09:44 AM
I don't know how it works out, but generally I just start and write to the end. Occassionally I'll make little segues and revise a chapter that had some weak sections, but in general it's a straight, from-beginning-to-end thing. I call this Draft 1.5. Once that's done, one pass for revision and it's usually pretty much ready to go except for minor tweakage.
March 4th, 2005, 11:10 AM
Got some tips.
1. Never edit until you are done writing the book. The only kind of editing you should do is is the thing you want to edit WILL change the plot or storyline or any physical thing. Otherwise, wait until you are done. You will not go ANYWHERE if you just keep going back.
2. Never add too much detail as to confuse your reader. If you add an entire backhistory in a chapter about how your main character slayed a dragon, people will fall asleep.
I usually write my book out of one idea, and it unfolds into several. I never REALLY think ahead. During the beginning, I have a good idea. The more I write, the more I get that adrenaline feeling and say "AHA! That sounds cool!"
I still don't know what will happen to my character! I can't wait to find out!
March 4th, 2005, 01:09 PM
Merancapeman - - - - - - - Hell yeah!
This is the short version . . .
First, I write scenes. I take a situation, an interesting name for a person, a random thought or two and I write a scene around it, these are usually no more than a page or two.
If I really like the scene I either do back story on it, (How did this happen?) or plunge in to what happens next. Sometimes those take the form of scenes too.
When I have enough I string the scenes together, and brainstorm about the actual plot, adjusting until it actually does make sense. Sometimes I try alternate events and plot twists, if I like it, I go with it.
When I'm more or less happy with it I start at the beginning and write linear, making sure the story flows and there are no problematic grammatical constructions. When I get to the end I have a coke and a candy bar, put my feet up and call myself a genius.
Then I edit forever.
March 4th, 2005, 07:43 PM
Has anyone read how Stephen King comes up with his work? It's rather interesting.
I work in somewhat of the same way that he does. Basically what happens is I go to bed and just before the greatness of sleep takes over, A picture pops in my head or a sentence is spoken in a voice I do not recognize. (I hear voices....) Anyway, this is the basis in which 90% of my stories begin. Either I think on it all night, why did I see this?, what could it mean?, or I let the idea build itself in my head
Eventually one day it just goes "Look at ME!!" and a fog light switches on that lights up a whole warehouse around the picture or character who spoke, I then know what the picture or the sentence means. (most of the time)
Normally my first step after I see one of these pictures is I sit up at my computer and write down what I saw in as much detail as I can (which half could be edited out later) I plot what this picture means and what could have caused the picture and start Chapter one.
I never have an idea where my story is going to go unless I spend hours tossing ideas around. Most of the time my best friend and I change and alter one idea so many times until it fits. But once I get a good idea for a 'problem' I fit in that picture and how it affects the character.
If I confused anyone... don't feel bad, I think I just confused myself :o
March 4th, 2005, 08:05 PM
I've done that a time or two before. I usually end up with something similar to this...
"I've got the salami, seventy-five cents, and a screwdriver. What do I do next?" he asked in a frantic, almost panic-stricken voice.
Now I just need a story to go with it. :)
But most of the time I have a very vague idea in my head, sit down, and start typing. nearly all of the time, the story doesn't end the way I'd seen it in my mind. I usually plan quite differently and end up with an unexpected result.
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