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Postby Alaskamatt17 » Wed Apr 20, 2005 1:03 pm

Sorry I haven't been posting for a while, I've had a lot going on.

I don't really have any good advice today, except that it sometimes helps to exercise before you write. That way you'll have blood pumping through your veins when you start writing your action scenes. It's also just good for you, and most writers can use the exercise, since they spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer.
After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are always artists as well.
-Albert Einstein
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Postby Neurolanis » Fri Apr 22, 2005 4:02 pm

Yeah. I'll walk then write, walk then write..
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A Red Pen

Postby Alaskamatt17 » Wed Apr 27, 2005 12:12 am

I've probably said this before, but I'll say it again: a Red Pen is one of the most helpful tools for any writer. I bought a new red pen today, then went to the library and just sat down and edited the hardcopy versions of my first four chapters. It's really amazing how ruthless I was with the pen, as opposed to how reluctant I am to change anything when I'm looking at it on the screen. And red ink makes the errors seem so much more grievous.
After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are always artists as well.
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Postby LightBrigade » Thu Apr 28, 2005 6:15 pm

Alaskamatt17 said:
"1)I come up with an idea for a novel.
2)I write a brief (ten to twenty-page) synopsis
3)I attach names to all my scenes, and come up with an estimate as to how long a chapter should be that contains the scene, allowing time for builup going into the chapter, and a slight bit of tension release after the main scene for the chapter has occurred.
4)I arrange the scenes in order on a sheet of paper, writing down only the chapter title and the page count."


This is one of the best ideas for a basic plan. Not that other ideas are not funtional, of course. Even the most talented witers have admittted they need a novel plan as they write, as a rule.

The name for the scenes Alaskamatt17 mentioned, serves as a shortcut to the writer, which like a backbone, becomes

a synopsis of the plot development.
When people agree with me, I always feel that I must be wrong. -- Oscar Wilde --
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Postby Magus » Thu Apr 28, 2005 7:18 pm

I haven't ever done anything so detailed as that. And now with my one work-in-progress that I have I'm deciding things that will happen in the near future that aren't set. I have clear ideas on where this is going to go, but mostly those are just ideas that work to shape the work as a whole. I find that in this way the story is being written in an almost episodic way. But this actually lends itself well. And it's not entirely episodic, there's a distinct place where it's going... and I think that I'm rambling now.

But, yes, a plan is always a must. And with my current work in progress being the exception, most of my works are meticulously planned out.
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Writing Environment

Postby Alaskamatt17 » Fri May 06, 2005 12:52 am

When writing, it's important to be in the right place. For some, this is a locked closet with nothing but a loaf of bread, a bowl of water, and a ream of paper to last them for the next week. For others, this is the public library, a nearby coffee house, or their own bedroom. For me, it's usually my bedroom, and, if not, the library. I find that it helps to have complete silence, or maybe some music as long as it has no lyrics. Unfortunately, this isn't always possible. I spend three months out of the year working on a commercial fishing vessel, and if there's anything that's the opposite of silent, it's a 540 horsepower Cat engine in the bottom of a fifty-some foot fiberglass hull. In conditions like this, it helps to have a perfect "mental environment." I can put on earphones, close my eyes, and pretend I'm in a pristine cavern 200 miles below the Earth's surface, lit by gold-encrusted diamonds that grow out of the ceiling. I can, but I don't. It helps me instead to think of nothing at all. If there is absolutely nothing in my mind, it leaves room for the images from my story to take shape. And that's all I need to start writing.
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Postby Benjaru » Sun May 22, 2005 7:15 pm

Good work Matt!

I am finding this thread to be very useful!

I guess my biggest problem with writing is my tendency to write and edit at the same time. It gets to a point where I stop and try to think of the best word to put next, or write a sentence five times only to chuck it... :roll:

Not a very practical way to write...

So I have some little slogans that are supposed to help, like: L.I.F (let it flow)
and the three S's that every scene must contain: Sight, Sound, Smell.

And I suppose that they are alright, too. But then of course, you have to apply them. Not exactly my strong point.

I have written quite a bit, but this problem never leaves me. (probably because I AM the problem!)

:arrow: Any advice would be totally awesome. :) :)

My place to write is in my bedroom, usually at night before I go to bed. But I also have a notebook that i carry around with me wherever I go, in case of an inspiration strike. :)
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Postby LightBrigade » Mon May 23, 2005 5:46 pm

The three s is good ground, and the notebook is priceless indeed.

As for LIF, writing and editing at the same time is a spontaneous demand of some writers. Where editing is in measure, the flow is not interrupted. The heavy editing comes afterwards, only well after the whole of what the writer needed to say has been recorded.

When one writes but deliberately avoids any editing, it is often that at the end, he does not recognise what he has written. It often does not make sense. Oh, yes, *broad smile* yes, it makes sense to him only, usually finding out that a good part of the story still in his mind; but to any reader, it is unreadable and incomprehensible.

Why do you think so many stories enter for critique to receive none or a very kind, gentle, encouraging two-line general remark? : -)
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Hmmm.

Postby Benjaru » Tue May 24, 2005 5:59 pm

Thanks LightBrigade!
I really appreciate your comments. :D

Lol, That bit about making sense to only me... That's what I'm afraid of! :wink:

So what should I do about it? Just keep plodding on, writing and editing at the same time?
Or should I force myself to write without changing anything? :(

Ahem... About planning out a story, where do you stop? I mean, with my fantasy series, I keep starting to write it, and then find something that I justhave to change... you know.
But it is a definite thing that these changes are for the better of the story. In my opinion, changes are good, I can't stand it when someone hangs onto an idea just because it was the original story idea.
There are certainly times when you need to keep your first 'Inspiration' especially when it is an underlying principle or theme...

But how do You decide to stop changing and editing your story?
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Postby Caegaraneva » Tue May 24, 2005 7:45 pm

You need to find the happy medium, I believe. I read a sentence or a few sentences through as I write them, fix major flaws, try and work on gross sentence structure. And I'm careful with words as I go, normally. If I get on a streak of inspiration, I don't look back, and will edit later. And the more careful editing and rewriting is entirely another stage.
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Postby aldan » Tue May 24, 2005 10:25 pm

I personally feel that you should start by sketching. Instead of just writing writing, give the story a brief sketching. Once you're done, skim it and look for plot holes. Once you've filled those holes you can then go on to the story writing.

I know that when I start a story, it takes me awhile to immerse myself in the story so that it'll "write itself". I will often write and rewrite the first bit until I've gotten a taste of the story's flavor and how my writing style should be molded to fit that. For example, you shouldn't eat soup with a fork, or a huge steak with a wooden spoon. Instead you should adjust your style to fit the feel of the story. Once I've gotten that, I'll usually begin to be able to just write more, and do the self-editing less, because I'll usually have a better flow moving in the story, so there won't be too many jarring episodes that throw me out and away from my muse.

For me, it's a matter of, like putting on makeup, not starting with the eyeshadow, but instead with the base, then move to the blush and perhaps the powder. Then go on to the eyeliner and eyeshadow, then mascara. From there move to the lip liner and lipstick. Then, after concentrating on each of those individual parts and pieces, you should then look at the entire effect, to see what the results are. When you have that, you can then have the whole picture in mind when you're making minor adjustments to your makeup.

*Note: That wasn't meant to be perfectly in line with the order in which you, yourself, put on your makeup, if you do. It's what I like to call a METAPHOR.*
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to open it and remove all doubt."
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Postby Magus » Wed May 25, 2005 8:09 pm

Wow, Aldan. That's a lot of make-up, both literally and figuratively.
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