Something I have discovered, how about you...

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
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Crystal
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Something I have discovered, how about you...

Post by Crystal » December 22nd, 2009, 12:39 pm

I am very much an out of the mist writer. I have to outline what so ever. This being my first wip doesn't mean that won't change at some point but that is where I am now.

So here is what I have found. On my first go round my chapters are very short, straight to the point and get the story moving at a very fast pace. Once I finish what I feel belongs in that chapter I go back and re-read it, several times. Then I find the places where fluff needs to be added to make the chapter slow down and flow better.

So do you have to add fluff or take it out?
Working my very first attempt at a mystery novel. 1st draft

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CharleeVale
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Re: Something I have discovered, how about you...

Post by CharleeVale » December 22nd, 2009, 2:04 pm

I guess it depends on the mood I'm in....write now I'm at the point in my WIP where dots need to be connected. So more often than not the writing in between is sparse and to the point, and I'll go back later and fluff it up a bit. But there are other times when I am writing a scene with an incredible setting or emotion, and I'll get so carried away that the adjectives tie my hands and spill out of their own accord. I have to go back and majorly cut...saying all the time 'what was I thinking!'.

Cheers to another out of the mist writer though!

CV

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marilyn peake
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Re: Something I have discovered, how about you...

Post by marilyn peake » December 22nd, 2009, 4:23 pm

I have a very weird way of writing. Although I’m sure other writers must use the same method, I’ve only ever heard one other writer mention writing this way. After years of trying different methods, including many attempts at outlining, I realized I’m definitely an “out of the mist” writer, not an outliner type. I usually have a beginning, an end, and a general idea of the plot in my mind. Then, if I write the beginning half of the book only when I’m rested and make sure I’m rested enough to write every day, I basically chase the outline, letting it continuously unfold as I write. When I’m on a roll, lots of things unfold in sync: the lives of multiple characters intersect in meaningful ways and symbolism appears in many places that reflects other symbolism in the book. I also edit for spelling and grammar as I write, and do additional research as needed for factual details in the story. An example of things coming together for me as I wrote my recent science fiction novel, GODS IN THE MACHINE, is as follows. I had two time travelers that looked like space aliens explore a wooded area at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and I had two red-spotted toads (from research I did online about the bottom of the Grand Canyon) cross their path before a Havasupai Indian came into view. I discovered through researching books about the Havasupai Indians that they had a religious legend about a natural structure called Frog Rock, as well as religious beliefs about “sky people”. Since the time travelers seemed to have come from the sky, both the toad/frog and sky people symbolism all came together and allowed me to expand the story in meaningful ways. I was very psyched as I wrote!
Marilyn Peake

Novels: THE FISHERMAN’S SON TRILOGY and GODS IN THE MACHINE. Numerous short stories. Contributor to BOOK: THE SEQUEL. Editor of several additional books. Awards include Silver Award, 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards.

Bron
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Re: Something I have discovered, how about you...

Post by Bron » December 22nd, 2009, 4:38 pm

Both, depending on which scene I'm editing. Sometimes I'll come back and realise the action is taking place in a void, so I add details about the surroundings. Other times, there is too much unnecessary detail, or action that doesn't contribute to the story that can be summed up in a sentence or two rather than two pages. So I cut this stuff.

Richard A Kray
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Re: Something I have discovered, how about you...

Post by Richard A Kray » December 22nd, 2009, 9:39 pm

When I first decided to pick writing back up (after a tryst with the music industry/drugs and partying), my amazingly awesometacular fantasmorgsmic fiance bought me Stephen King's On Writing. He definitely preaches writing out of the mist or in the mist or whatever the saying was. So that's what I tried to do, since who better to use as a role model than Stephen Effing King? It worked for me, sort of. But I've turned into one of those weird writers with weird methods now. I now do what I call my "story arc charts", where I draw a big arc on a poster board with a marker, then mark it with each major event in the story. Obviously the charts evolve over time and sometimes end up looking like an absrtact painting, but they work for me. Also, said fantasmorgasmic fiance was mighty POed when I moved my writing space to the dining room to be close to the baby (our first son was born a month ago, and I couldn't exactly work in the basement anymore) and brought my charts with me, sticking them all over the walls.
- Richard A. Kray
http://braineatersanonymous.blogspot.com
(Go follow it. No, seriously, you won't be disappointed.)
(No... seriously.)

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Bryan Russell/Ink
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Re: Something I have discovered, how about you...

Post by Bryan Russell/Ink » December 22nd, 2009, 11:54 pm

Oh, I must cut and cut and cut...

Occasionally I have to write new things and put them in for specific purposes. But then I'll have to cut some more. And some more. And some more.
The Alchemy of Writing at www.alchemyofwriting.blogspot.com

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Jaime
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Re: Something I have discovered, how about you...

Post by Jaime » December 23rd, 2009, 6:24 am

Oh, I am so with you, Ink. I envy all those who have a respectable word count! Editing makes Baby Jesus cry! =(

As for writing - I didn't even start writing my current MS until I knew the plot like a movie I'd seen way too many times. After a month or so, when I realised I wasn't bored of the idea - in fact my excitement had grown - I knew I had to start writing. I went hell-for-leather for 7 months, and I've now spent the last 4 months editing my little heart out!

Richard - I know how you feel! My son is 16-months-old, and I had my writing space in the lounge room so I could sit with him. My husband kicked me out to the spare room a few weeks ago because he was sick of looking at my crowded desk!

Ironically, my husband's XBox, monitor, and games cabinet now live where my desk used to reside . . .

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A La Vanille
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Re: Something I have discovered, how about you...

Post by A La Vanille » December 23rd, 2009, 2:32 pm

I usually do a bit of both. When I'm editing and rereading, I fix this word up here, and a punctuation there, delete that whole paragraph there.
:)
I don't have a mindset on how long or short I want my novel to be, I just write whatever fits, then it's supposed to be there. No use cutting it out.

As for my first draft writing, I experiment with a variation of ways, though I've found it's better for me to get the general plot and the main events in it, weave them all togther so that they fit in a sequence, then begin to write. The details and side plots all come as I'm writing. Then ta da, a story! I tried serious outlining once, I became so bored with it since everything was predictable and never wrote it at all. It's much more fun for me to just go out there and write unpredictable fuzz!

ErinGayle
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Re: Something I have discovered, how about you...

Post by ErinGayle » December 25th, 2009, 6:39 pm

Richard A Kray wrote:When I first decided to pick writing back up (after a tryst with the music industry/drugs and partying), my amazingly awesometacular fantasmorgsmic fiance bought me Stephen King's On Writing. He definitely preaches writing out of the mist or in the mist or whatever the saying was. So that's what I tried to do, since who better to use as a role model than Stephen Effing King? It worked for me, sort of. But I've turned into one of those weird writers with weird methods now. I now do what I call my "story arc charts", where I draw a big arc on a poster board with a marker, then mark it with each major event in the story. Obviously the charts evolve over time and sometimes end up looking like an absrtact painting, but they work for me. Also, said fantasmorgasmic fiance was mighty POed when I moved my writing space to the dining room to be close to the baby (our first son was born a month ago, and I couldn't exactly work in the basement anymore) and brought my charts with me, sticking them all over the walls.
I'm a King fan, too. Have read On Writing. I'm definitely 'misty' until I get towards the end. Then I go overboard with a time-line/plot-plan so that everything comes together properly. Also do more in-depth research at this stage and if necessary fit it in. Had a great success doing this when I found an invention that had just been launched, and fitted my plot perfectly. Had been looking for it for months. So late- stage research can pay off.
ErinGayle

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Matera_the_Mad
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Re: Something I have discovered, how about you...

Post by Matera_the_Mad » December 28th, 2009, 7:06 pm

I have a sort of three-part process. Write tersely. Add fluff. Trim fluff severely.
A drum is empty always, and when the skin is rightly taut it gives right noise, right sound. Attention is like that.
Jiddu Krishnamurti

Nick
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Re: Something I have discovered, how about you...

Post by Nick » December 28th, 2009, 7:14 pm

Goes both ways with myself. Often not in the same chapter, the editing, I mean; I just write. And then I look and say, "All right, explained too much here" or "This could use a bit more". I tend to prefer the term padding, as I consider all of my writing to be nothing more than pulpy fluff, but I do make an effort to avoiding padding -- only write what is necessarily. If that means a chapter is four pages while another chapter is twelve pages, then it means that particular chapter is only four pages long. I'm not going to lengthen it or make the twelve page chapter shorter for any reason other than something in it needs expounding or retraction. A chapter's isn't much of an issue for me. If it flows quickly, then perhaps those events are meant to unfold quickly. If another chapter moves a little slower, perhaps it means those events are meant to be slower. Of course there are times when I occasionally need to slow things down or could afford to quicken things, but I'm not overly concerned with pacing. At least not on my first two drafts. Draft one is for storytelling, draft two is for making it a bit more comprehensible, and any subsequent drafts are for the rectifying of further errors that arise.

Kaitlyne
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Re: Something I have discovered, how about you...

Post by Kaitlyne » December 29th, 2009, 12:35 am

Omg, take out. Definitely take out. I write long in general, so I'm constantly having to go back and take out things. My last MS was 185k when I finished the first draft (now down to 120k!), if that gives you any indication. And the vast majority of that (55k) wasn't cutting scenes, but just taking out sentences, tightening up the language, etc. I'm not a big fan of cutting, particularly when I like the scene, but I do think my work is better for it. Btw, I also used an outline and actually had to remove one of my big scenes near the end of the book because it would easily have added another ten thousand words, and at that point I knew it was going to be way too long.

That's normal for me, though. I've always written long, and probably always will. I'm anticipating my next work might land around 145k on the first draft and probably need to be brought down to 100k. Oddly, the last one I figured would land at around 120k, so it's actually landing right back around where the initial prediction was when I started.

J.Jessamyn
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Re: Something I have discovered, how about you...

Post by J.Jessamyn » December 29th, 2009, 12:48 pm

I was all over the map with mine. I did a rough outline just so I had a goal to keep in mind for the plot, but I ended up completely changing it and winged it.

I also pretty much just sat and wrote off-the-cuff; whatever came to me came out through my fingers on the keyboard. Then during my first reread, I noticed a few points I had mentioned but never concluded. I added about a chapter's worth of fluff, which also filled in a large time gap as well.

Then after all that, I cut several pages out of my first chapter. I started the entire story with a dream/flashback, which I later read somewhere that that's not a good idea. Readers supposedly are disappointed when they discover everything they just read didn't actually happen (even though it did actually happen in my story, but I cut it just to be safe). Also I had a bit too much exposition and not enough plot-moving content, so I had to decide what was and wasn't essential.

Overall it was a pretty give-and-take kind of process. I personally seem to prefer the idea of adding the fluff rather than cutting it, because it was a series of tough decisions to make over what to keep and what to delete. Why can't these things just come out perfectly the first time!? :-P
~J. Jessamyn~

cleanwhitepage
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Re: Something I have discovered, how about you...

Post by cleanwhitepage » December 29th, 2009, 1:32 pm

Hi, I'm new here. I write supernatural/horror fiction. My first novel is being considered by an agent. I write the story and later add or develop ideas that improve my characters and their motivations, or add layers to the plot that will be meaningful later in the tale. If it's fluff, cut it out! I try to only add to improve, not fill. Hope I'm practicing what I preach!
http://www.thecleanwhitepage.com

kristi
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Re: Something I have discovered, how about you...

Post by kristi » December 29th, 2009, 2:14 pm

I'm an out of the mist writer who hasn't had to worry about word count so far - I tend to write the bare bones in my 1st draft and then go back to flesh it out. It's fun adding the details in and I haven't had to cut anything so much as polish it.

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