Each New Story Starting Over
I was thinking over the weekend about why it seems to take me forever to write each new story. I'll have to explore this further, maybe in a future Rambling entry on my website, but I think it comes down to this: each new story feels like I'm starting all over again from scratch.
With each new story—even in between each story—I feel like I'm learning something totally new in my approach to storytelling. After Q4 V38, I came across Save the Cat/Kitten!, which I'm using now in my approach to my Q2 entry. Not so much the architecture of the thing, placing round peg A into round slot B, but more like grasping the concept of why each part leads into the next, why each individual step contributes to the overall whole.
At some point, I have to think I'll nail down an approach that works for me...something that lets me add SPEED to help me write my stories faster. Until then, I just keep taking all this new info and integrating into a style and method that makes sense to me. I'm hoping one day everything just sort of clicks into place. I'll place that very last cog into the machinery and all of a sudden gears start whirring and smoke starts blowing and BOOM! stories just start flying out of the press. Until then, just seems like trudging.
Anyone else going through this?
"If you can do it for joy, you can do it forever."
- Stephen King
Drop me a line at https://morganbroadhead.com
For me, I find no approach works all of the time. One may work beautifully to get me going for one type of story and other times it completely halts the process.
V36:Q3 HM V37: Q3 R, Q4 SHM V38: R,HM, F, HM
I've done very well if I can write one in a week (so I'd have no chance in a 24 hour challenge!) - though doesn't OSC talk about sitting on an idea and letting it steep in one of his books on writing?
It's not unusual for me to make a start, abandon a project, then ideas on it come a week or 2 later.
Less Gabble, more Prate.
There are as many approaches to writing as there are writers. Writing with speed is much less broad.
Worldbuilding comes first for me. Flora and fauna, communication, transportation, geography, politics, governmental structure, fashion, and more go into world building. If it is a Fantasy, I define the magic. If it is Sci-fi, I define the technological differences between the story and our world.
Differences and details help define possible story ideas. So, once I have the world/universe established, the writing is faster because I don't have to make up everything as I go along. I have written fifteen stories in one Fantasy universe and have ideas for three novels within it. Since the magic is defined by eight pages of rules, all I have to do is refer to those rules rather than making up a new system. The magic has defined the social life, socio-economics and governmental structures of most countries, so there are unique situations that grow organically from the worldbuilding alone. Those situations define characters. Characters who are marginalized by the system are great fodder for stories.
I believe that a couple of things are very important in worldbuilding. First is to make things hard to do. Put stiff limits on technology and magic. Anything that is worthwhile should have such a high cost that it takes an exceptional individual to accomplish. Why? Because it's real. Real things take time and effort. Shortcuts come with great risk.
The second thing important to worldbuilding has to do with writing a story within the world; adhere to the rules. If the MC gets stuck because of an established rule, have them think their way around it. But never change the rule. Never.
Speed: I have written, made editing passes, and finalized several stories in three to five days when writing within an established universe. So it is my belief that thorough worldbuilding is the most important element of writing faster - whether pantsing or plotting, and any length manuscript.
@kent Good advice here, Prate. Or Kent—I’ve known you by that name far longer. 😊
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