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-doctor_odd's writing guide-

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-doctor_odd's writing guide-

Postby doctor_odd » Sat Oct 22, 2005 5:13 pm

First up, this is how I like to write, and many people would disagree with me. Maybe you could try this technique out and then see if it helps you out at all.

The way I write is very different from the 'norm'.

Step 1: Sit down and think of an interesting title
This may seem odd. Many people use this as the last step, but don't worry- sometimes thinking of a title will inspire you completely.

Step 2: Think up the Protagonist
and ONLY the protagonist. Don't bother with other characters just yet. Think of a name that you'll remember. Think of a name that ANYONE could remember. It should be catchy, different and yet something that makes the character 'human'. Unless of course, he's not human...

Step 3: WRITE
Write like crazy. Start from the beginning. It doesn't matter if you don't know how the story will end, just GO WITH IT. The best stories you just keep going, letting your subconsious write it in your head seconds before you transfer it to the word document.

Step 4: Pause.
Take a break. Make sure you've eaten in the last 82 hours. Sleep on it. Maybe draw some pictures of the characters just before you fall asleep. When you wake up, spend at least ONE WEEK away from your computer, and away from the story.

Step 5: WRITE- AGAIN!
Edit it if you don't like parts, then just keep writing. Get AT LEAST two chapters into it, then stop. Now you need to Plan what's happening, but at least now you've got a feel for the story.

Step 6: Plan
Plan ahead. Create more characters. Create the plot, the setting. Sometimes it helps me out if I draw a map of the place my character is in (prefferably in fantasy). Don't stop though. Finish your story before writing the rest, but leave at least a couple surprises for YOU along the way.

Step 7: The Rest is up to You
I don't care what you do next. You can finish writing, you can complete some bios for your characters, or anything. Just get it done. Every once in a while, at your discretion, take a break. About a one week-long break, every month.

I wasn't lying when I said my writing technique is different from the norm. :D
Assasin: "You know what your sin is?"
Malcolm Reynolds: "Hell, I'm a fan of all seven, but right now I'd have to go with wrath."
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Postby aldan » Sun Oct 23, 2005 1:33 am

Mine steps things out quite a bit differently from yours, but I agree completely about taking a break from your writing for about a week. Some people can't do it for that long without losing the "feel" of the story. However, find out for yourself what works best for you. Experiment.

For me, I started with my character. What did I want her to be like, personality-wise? What were her major difficulties to overcome? From there, I figured out the basic plot (as in, how she got where she is and how she will basically get out of her difficult situation) and then started creating a supporting cast.

The supports started out as very simple ideas... general character types. For example, one is insane. I then figured out his personality, how he acted in his nutty periods. Then I came up with a back story for why he was insane and why it was that he acts the way he does as an insane individual. Then I figured out how he would have been staying alive while insane. Then I came up with a basic plan for his future.

Why did I go into such detail? To help to make the world a more believable place, even though it's a fantastic realm. I was creating characters that would have their own lives and personalities, so that I could create friction when necessary and friendship amongst the group as well as with the main character.

The world I created I gave a bit of back-story to, so that I'd be able to fill it with racial and historic personality, such as the way that Tolkien did with his Middle Earth novels. Even in the Hobbit, he was able to create a history that, while not tremendously deep (it was written for a child to read, after all!), it had some history to it. An old dwarven complex that was taken over by a dragon? A group of elves that had had some problems with the dwarves? Yep. A human community that had been nearly wiped out by the invading dragon? Yep. An evil creature that had this wonderful magic item that ends up being extremely powerful and will end up putting the world at risk, and yet will also be used to finally remove the risk? Uh huh.

Mine is a bit different (quite a bit in many ways, yet similar in others), but has the individual racial divisions, the tensions and the previous disasters. These things help to give life to a story, and can be used to make societal or psychological points or whatnot.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and to appear stupid than
to open it and remove all doubt."
---Mark Twain
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Postby doctor_odd » Sun Oct 23, 2005 2:14 pm

Yes, that's what I am trying to get across. Writing is different for everybody and nobody writes quite the same.

It's what seperates all authors. Try comparing Tolkien to let's say, Stuart McClean. There's no way they write the same way.

PS- love your signature, by the way.
Assasin: "You know what your sin is?"
Malcolm Reynolds: "Hell, I'm a fan of all seven, but right now I'd have to go with wrath."
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Postby aldan » Sun Oct 23, 2005 3:11 pm

I like yours as well. I'm diabetic, you see?
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and to appear stupid than
to open it and remove all doubt."
---Mark Twain
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Postby Talon Sinnah » Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:47 am

I sit and write. I am sure there is more to it but I am pressed for time got to go.
I am the poet of the body and I am the poet of the Soul. The pleasures of heaven are with me and the pains of hell are with me. The first I graft and increase upon myself, the latter I translate into a new tongue.

-Walt Whitman-
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Postby Manji » Wed Oct 26, 2005 10:37 am

Talon Sinnah wrote:I sit and write. I am sure there is more to it but I am pressed for time got to go.


Then why bother posting at this moment if you don't have the time to post something worthwhile? :x
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Postby doctor_odd » Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:54 pm

Ah, but that is worthwhile.

Sometimes that's the best way to do things.
Assasin: "You know what your sin is?"
Malcolm Reynolds: "Hell, I'm a fan of all seven, but right now I'd have to go with wrath."
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Postby Magus » Sun Oct 30, 2005 1:32 pm

I come up with my idea first. The method for which changes constantly and is an issue to discuss another time. But after I get my idea I write down every detail I can about it. I then develop it in my mind and get it to where I'm more-or-less content with it. I then wait and sit on the idea for a week or two, sometimes more. Basically I cleanse my mind of the idea and all but forget about it. Then I come back to it and read the idea again. If I'm still just as excited about the idea as I was when I first wrote it down then I make a meticulously detailed outline on my computer. If not then I keep what I've written and try to see if I can use it for some other story idea later on.

As for my writing, I use pencils and a spiral notebook. I take them both around with me in my trapper, which I subsequently bring with me everywhere. Whenever I have time, usually I'll do this instead of paying attention in math, I'll write for as long as I can. I MUST hand write it, otherwise I begin editing it in my head, which halts my progress. I hand write it and get a good deal of writing done every day, because I don't go back to edit grammatical mistakes and the like. Plus my best work is done in a structured and relatively silent environment where I can't put it off and move onto something else. That's why school's the best place for me. It's quiet, during class despite the teacher talking in math, it's structured, although not specifically for what I use it for, and I can't very well get up and leave or go on a computer, now can I?

At least, that's what works for me.
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Postby aldan » Sun Oct 30, 2005 2:31 pm

I just hope you clean it as well after having sat on it "for a week or two"....

*shudders*
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and to appear stupid than
to open it and remove all doubt."
---Mark Twain
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Postby Magus » Sun Oct 30, 2005 2:50 pm

:wink:
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Postby LadyLeviticus » Wed Dec 14, 2005 2:55 am

These steps seem to be a lot earier to follow.
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Postby aldan » Wed Dec 14, 2005 3:15 am

Ah, but that is because we finished with Halloween not so long ago....
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and to appear stupid than
to open it and remove all doubt."
---Mark Twain
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