do I need new way of writing?

Not sure if you're on the right track? Post anything from character descriptions, snippets of text, or even whole chapters to get some advice.

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aldan
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Post by aldan »

You could even try a rite, to see if religion would help...
"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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Post by Havoc »

The most idiotic thing anyone could do is to look at how an established writer does it and try to emulate that. So forget all that nonsense that Cleasterwood and Magus are babbeling on about. Who cares how Stephen King does it? The only thing that matters to you is how you do it!
It's the pacing mate.... PACING!!!

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Post by Magus »

:censored:

Havoc, you do realize that he's asking for help on how to improve himself. So we tell him what one particular author does, which is similar to what he already does. How is that different from us telling him what we personally do which are so radically different from what he does?

Besides how closely or distantly the methods resemble his current style I see little difference as to how they may or may not be of assistance.

I doubt anybody'll honestly say:

"I need help on how to improve my writing, but I don't want an author whose 52 books have all been international best sellers. I couldn't care less about him."
Last edited by Magus on Sun Oct 16, 2005 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by SethMullins »

Well, Berry, it seems that others may have answered your question to satisfaction, but I'm tempted to put in my two cents anyway. I always write my first draft without plotting or outlining, operating on the faith that each day will bring me enough fresh inspiration to meet my quota (which is usually about five pages). This is what I've discovered: once I'm immersed in the story the characters spring to life and start doing all manner of unexpected things. If I HAD an outline it would become redundant quite quickly. Also, imagine that you spend two years building a novel. If you outline the story, you are in many ways limited to whatever inspiration came to you in those few days that it took to sketch your basic structure. However, if you "wing it" and hold faith that the writing will continue to flow, you'll be open to whatever right-brain flashes may occur during that whole two-year period.
Last point: writing the rough draft first saves a lot of time that would've been wasted on research. For my own novel, I knew that I wanted the setting to be evocative of the American West circa 1850 or so. Now I'm not a historian, so to attain exhaustive knowledge of that time period would require untold hours of reading and studying. But because I wrote the rough draft drawing upon only what I knew or could imagine I could simply make notes in the margin when I hit a snag. Then, before starting draft two, I knew EXACTLY what topics would require further research in order to breathe life and realism into the story.

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Havoc
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Post by Havoc »

I need help on how to improve my writing, but I don't want an author whose 52 books have all been international best sellers. I couldn't care less about him.
It's the pacing mate.... PACING!!!

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Manji
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Post by Manji »

Man, it's like a bunch of babbling old women.
Havoc, don't tell people they're idiots or their suggestions are idiotic. You can explain why they're idiotic without using the word 'idiotic' and avoid possible flames altogether.
Lets face it, all of our input is worth about .2 cents a pop. Some of it worth .3 cents. Right now, however, we have exactly .45 cents and bickering isn't going to get us to a dollar.
Okay, dude who started the topic, I used to be like you. Thinking of ideas off the top of my head, not using an outline, etc.
Then I wrote something with an outline and realized how damned good it was compared to my previous work without.
My best suggestion for an outline is to use simple pen and paper with hand-drawn asteriks. For every asterix, write down a plot point. Like. . . .

* John Doe gets up and kisses his wife Jane goodbye before leaving for work. Jane goes shopping.

That's the best way for me. Leaves room for you to write off the top of your head to add little details but you have a fair idea of where the hell the story is going. It cuts down on meandering and keeps it pretty solidified.

Now, I'm sure that King does indeed write without an outline, but has he always written without one? When he was a young writer coming into his own did he use an outline? Probably so.

Also, you can tell sometimes he doesn't use an outline.
cough The Stand cough And unless you want to write a book of unpublishable length, use an outline.

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berry
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Do I need a new way of writing?

Post by berry »

Well I did ask,
Since that post I have tried one of the suggestions which was jumping around the plot, I wrote a description of a place where my character was going, and then went back to the beginning and wrote a bit there, then started on a totally unrelated part of the story. Somehow it did help me form much more of an idea of where the story was going to end up, well rather where it was going I still don't know where it is going to end up. I am actually a pretty structured kind of person but when I write that part of me doesn't engage. Part of the problem is how do I write an outline for and idea I haven't formed yet?
As for writing like Mr King, if not having a outline means I ramble on for far longer than necessary I might have to start. I mean his ideas are great but if he cut 50% from most of his books I'd be more inclined to, well, enjoy them.
and by the way Magus, I'm a girl!
Outside of a dog, a book is mans best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.
Groucho Marx

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Re: Do I need a new way of writing?

Post by Manji »

berry wrote:and by the way Magus, I'm a girl!


BTW, I'm Manji.

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berry
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Post by berry »

So Manji,
Since you started out like I have, when you did write your first outline how much of an idea did you have?
Outside of a dog, a book is mans best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.
Groucho Marx

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Magus
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Post by Magus »

:oops:

Sorry. I did my signature assumption, and you know what they say about assuming.

Lets face it, all of our input is worth about .2 cents a pop. Some of it worth .3 cents. Right now, however, we have exactly .45 cents and bickering isn't going to get us to a dollar.


NICE analogy, Manji. I love it.


Manji, I'm like you where I need an outline. Mine, however, come out to be highly detailed. One story I'm currently outlining is already over five pages and I'm not even half-way through. But I save my outline and oftentimes don't look at them for months-years after I write them, and even then I don't start on the story since I'm usually working on something else. So I add as many details as I can on location, characters, plot, etc... so that when I do decide to come back to it I know just as much as I did when I wrote it initially. If I start right away on a story I still have an outline, but it's a mental one. In my current project I haven't written one word of outline but the story's already perfectly outlined in my head. Just a difference I thought I'd note between the two of us.

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Manji
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Post by Manji »

I had three lines detailing the first five minutes of my very first script and then reverted back to writing off the top of my head. My next project afterwards, however, I had a massive four page outline detailing the major plot points of the script.

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Havoc
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Post by Havoc »

Look, all I'm saying is that it's of no use to emulate any author. No matter how succesful or unsuccesful they are. Everyone of us needs to find their own way of writing and the only way of doing this is experimenting.
It's the pacing mate.... PACING!!!

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