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do I need new way of writing?

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 9:47 am
by berry
Hello there,
I was wondering if anyone could help me with this issue bearing in mind that I am very new to writing. I usually start my when the first line pops into my head. I rarely have a whole story or developed characters I tend to make it up as I go along. So far this has been o.k but as I have begun writing more and more I have found that I run out of steam rather quickly. Is my method too unstructured?
Berry

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 10:26 am
by Havoc
You should write the way you like best. You can't emulate another writer, you have to be yourself.

I'd say that if indeed you run out of steam, stop writing and start the background. Writing is a process of conception, revision, revision, more revision etc. So if you get stuck with just going straight at it. Try to expand on what you have by developing background.


I have the feeling I'm not making a whole lot of sense here....

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 11:10 am
by Anthentar
Personally, I like to write down little bits of dialogue or descriptions and moments as they come to me. I'll work with them more closely later. First comes the task of creating a character who is believable and interesting. Then put that character into a setting that will allow you to use it to its potentiel.

Afterwards, grab those bits of dialogue as you see fit and throw them in. I find that I never run out of steam this way and it keeps the story on track

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 2:10 pm
by omnituton
Sounds like Anthentar's got it right to me...it's not that your technique is too unstructured...it may well be that you're too structured i.e. you feel under pressure to write in a linear manner, starting from the inspiring line and hoping that it will get you too a satisfactory end. When a line or idea takes your fancy write it see waht you can get out of it and then store it some place where you can get it later. Most good stories are made from the combination of different unrelated elements...just give them time to stew and it will work for you eventually.

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 6:17 pm
by Magus
I agree that you have to do what works for you, not necessarily myself or anyone else here. If they do happen to work then that's great. But Havoc said it first and said it best, do what works for you.

I find that I like my stories structured and planned. I get an idea and mull over it for a while, pick it apart and reconstruct it. I develop it in my mind to my own satisfaction, usually writing it down as well. Then what I do is I start writing, making sure that I have clear enough leeway where I can add and subtract ideas, events, etc... as I see necessary as things progress.

Maybe all you need is, as Omnituron said, is more structure. Just keep at it and see what works best for you. Try writing at different times, in different places and amongst different settings. See what works best for you. Myself, I love to write when I should be paying attention in Math. :wink: I really like the structure and disciplined nature of a school-setting, even if I don't use it for learning all of the time. I also like nights and am eager to try out mornings when I can.

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 6:49 pm
by Sara
Like Magus, I generally have to plan my stories out pretty well before beginning to write them. I've done it the other way, allowing things to flow spontaneously, but it costs me in the end, with lots of revisions to tighten everything up. I have found if I outline the book first, even just the bare-bones basics, it helps give me a framework with which to work. That keeps me on track, within my preferred final word count, and gives me a lot less self-editing to do when I'm finished.

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 9:41 pm
by aldan
"Do what works for you" is great advice. How do you know what works for you?? You need to try different things. If you get burnt out with the way you've been doing it, try stopping and doing background, or perhaps you can write about a totally different part of your story. Maybe you can sit and plot it out, mapping out where you want your story to generally go (and don't worry about gluing yourself to the map you make, but instead use it as a guide, but only a guide, allowing yourself opportunity to go off-road and take different highways than the straightest and most direct route).

Also, if you get stuck, try writing something totally different. Don't throw away what you've already done on your work, but instead try either writing in a totally different genre or even a totally different style. For example, when I'm stuck, if I can write anything, I'll usually go from my novel to working on a poem or other such lyric piece. That way it will allow me to look at things from a different perspective. It may help you as well... just give it a shot!

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 1:31 am
by Havoc
aldan wrote:"Do what works for you" is great advice. How do you know what works for you?? You need to try different things. If you get burnt out with the way you've been doing it, try stopping and doing background, or perhaps you can write about a totally different part of your story. Maybe you can sit and plot it out, mapping out where you want your story to generally go (and don't worry about gluing yourself to the map you make, but instead use it as a guide, but only a guide, allowing yourself opportunity to go off-road and take different highways than the straightest and most direct route).

Also, if you get stuck, try writing something totally different. Don't throw away what you've already done on your work, but instead try either writing in a totally different genre or even a totally different style. For example, when I'm stuck, if I can write anything, I'll usually go from my novel to working on a poem or other such lyric piece. That way it will allow me to look at things from a different perspective. It may help you as well... just give it a shot!


Yeah, that's what I was trying to say too...

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 2:36 am
by berry
Thanks guys,
One of the problems I have when I try to outline an idea it always seems a bit hackneyed but when I start from a line and go with it the idea turns into something more original or at least more me. That said it is hard to work out what works for me best as I have not been at this very long so I am going to take the advice and try to fill out different parts of the story and characters in a less linear fashion and see what happens.
Thanks again for the advice, much appreciated.
berry

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 7:26 am
by Spiderkeg
Just one word: Outline

Making an outline of your story really helps out. You can figure out what writing elements and themes you intend on having in the story.

May not work for most authors, but an outline isn't a bad thing to have.

Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 5:29 am
by cleasterwood
Personally, I've found that incorporating different techniques helps me. But that's just me. Stephen King never uses an outline or even know where his stories are going to end up so obviously it works for some people. I think you just need to find what's the best way for you and just go with it. If you're a structured person in life then your writing may benefit from a little more structure. If you're not, then I say go with the flow.

Remember what may work best for you may not work well for others. Me, I'm an outline, storyboard, gotta know where it's going kind of person. The good thing about using outlines is that you can change them whenever a new idea hits you.

Lynn

Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 10:48 pm
by Magus
CLEASTERWOOD! I'm really mad at you now!

You know very well that Stephen King was going to be MY example!!!

:wink:

:rofl:

He did say that he once wrote an outline for his Dark Tower series that he ended up losing. He actually says that it was probably for the best, because it was horrible and completely unoriginal. And look at the series now. I think that no contemporary author has ever come to something... well... more original.

Aldan's right (write). :wink: Try different things and see what works best for you.