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How Do You Write?

 
Anna X
(@annax)
Active Member
Posts: 22

When you start writing, what's the method you like to use? Do you write with pen and paper? Do you type it into the computer? Do you voice record it and then go back, listen, and type it up? Do you make an elaborate chapter-by-chapter outline first? Do you draw your characters out first? How do you start writing?

Me? I normally just start writing. I used to make outlines because that was what I was taught, but it didn't really help me write well. When I write, I normally just hit flow mode. I used to write with pen and paper. It was pretty crazy. When I would be really into my writing, my handwriting would be so incredibly tiny. I used to be able to fit 4 lines inside one normal line on ruled paper. I went back through my folders of unfinished work and found this...20,000+ words on one regular computer paper, front and back. (I saw that I calculated word count by how many words I wrote on a line, multiplied by how many lines there were.) Thankfully, I can still read most of it or make out words. This was probably the reason why it took me forever to try and translate my writings on to the computer. laughing  

 

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~ I honestly believe that good stories write themselves. You can always start writing a story, but the characters tell their own tales and if you're lucky enough, you get to merely be in the audience watching everything unfold. ~ 8/1/2022
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WotF - 2022, V39 Q4: submitted

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Topic starter Posted : August 5, 2022 1:36 pm
pdblake
(@pdblake)
Silver Member
Posts: 281

That is definitely not standard format giggle  

In answer to your question, it depends. Sometimes I outline a story to within an inch of its life, others I pants. Usually it's somewhere in between. 

Always on a computer, because I'm always near one. 

Characters depend on length. For a novel I'll go the full works, character study, backstory etc. For a short I'll do the same, unless I'm pantsing it, only shorter. 

R:6 HM:5 SHM:2
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Posted : August 5, 2022 2:18 pm
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Anna X
(@annax)
Active Member
Posts: 22
Posted by: @pdblake

That is definitely not standard format giggle  

In answer to your question, it depends. Sometimes I outline a story to within an inch of its life, others I pants. Usually it's somewhere in between. 

Always on a computer, because I'm always near one. 

Characters depend on length. For a novel I'll go the full works, character study, backstory etc. For a short I'll do the same, unless I'm pantsing it, only shorter. 

I agree it's not the standard format at all! laughing  

When you outline, do you find that your story always follows the outline? Thanks.

~ I honestly believe that good stories write themselves. You can always start writing a story, but the characters tell their own tales and if you're lucky enough, you get to merely be in the audience watching everything unfold. ~ 8/1/2022
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WotF - 2022, V39 Q4: submitted

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Topic starter Posted : August 5, 2022 2:49 pm
Wahlquistj
(@wahlquistj)
Advanced Member
Posts: 26

I start with a thought. Sometimes it's a character, sometimes it's a setting, sometimes it's a situation or a feeling. Then I 'knead' it in my mind, turning it over to reveal different angles or directions, testing how different through-lines make me feel.

Then I start writing. Sometimes I jot down notes for future parts of the story as they come to me. Often I will reach a certain point in a draft where I hit a roadblock and have to revise or start over. I call my revisions 'paint brushing' because I often have to go back to earlier parts and slowly integrate my changes into my existing work until I reach the place where I stopped.

Because of this, I almost always write on a computer where I can easily make changes. When I was younger I would write on paper and my journals were full of cross-outs and scribbles. I'm not very good at telling stories verbally, so I don't dictate. Part of my flow is seeing the words as I am typing them onto the page. To me, words are tangible things and I enjoy rolling them around in my mind while I am typing to find pattern and cadence.

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Posted : August 5, 2022 6:29 pm
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pdblake
(@pdblake)
Silver Member
Posts: 281

@annax definitely not. Outlines are, well, guidelines. 

R:6 HM:5 SHM:2
My Blog

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Posted : August 6, 2022 1:06 am
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Joe Benet
(@joe-benet)
Bronze Member
Posts: 59

My spark is some novel idea, my premise or background. Then I think in my head about what form of a plot can fit around that. Next step is one of two options. One possibility is to write that critical scene or two that captures the essence of the initial spark. If I take that route, then I start to ask what needs to come before to set this up, or where then does this lead to afterward? The second possibility is to outline, typically in my head, the broad strokes of what the character does.

In any case, I tend to write what I have before the story is fully formed in my mind or outline, then adjust as needed.

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Posted : August 6, 2022 10:10 am
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