Do you write 'linearly'?

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
Margo
Posts: 1712
Joined: April 5th, 2010, 11:21 am
Contact:

Re: Do you write 'linearly'?

Post by Margo » July 9th, 2010, 3:13 pm

polymath wrote: Plot not tasty enough on it's own? Add SPICE...
BAM!
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

User avatar
J. T. SHEA
Moderator
Posts: 493
Joined: May 20th, 2010, 1:55 pm
Location: IRELAND
Contact:

Re: Do you write 'linearly'?

Post by J. T. SHEA » July 9th, 2010, 3:22 pm

The Emperor of the Known Universe put it well. The spice must flow!

User avatar
Matthew MacNish
Posts: 285
Joined: March 5th, 2010, 4:31 pm
Location: Georgia
Contact:

Re: Do you write 'linearly'?

Post by Matthew MacNish » July 9th, 2010, 8:41 pm

I'm not sure this is even a very direct response but it has just occurred to me. When I do a loose outline beforehand, there is no straight line at all. There is perhaps a theme, an underlying point as Polymath alluded to, and that may be linear but the plot is almost certainly not. Once I'm ready I write in a straight line. Almost completely devoid of deviation. Characters may take over a scene, or come up with dialogue that was not planned out ahead of time, but they do not change the plot much. I'm too controlling to allow that kind of thing.

When I revise, re-write or line edit I have to switch it up.

In revision I jump around like Professor Snape with his shoe on fire at a Quidditch Match. I have to. Inspiration comes and goes and if I envision a change, subtraction or addition for a certain scene I jump right in and do it.

Re-writing is done almost straight through like the first draft but it can include a little hopping, cutting or inserting. Nothing major though.

Line-editing is totally different. Sometimes I do go forward but I find the most effective line editing for me is accomplished by starting at the end. Fix one sentence at a time and keep in mind that line-editing is not about themes, plot, characterization or any other "Macro" type concept. Voice can play a role but mostly it is about each sentence on its own. The rhythm, the cadence, the diction of the words you put together.

If you've never tried line-editing like that I suggest you give it a try.

User avatar
cheekychook
Posts: 685
Joined: May 26th, 2010, 8:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Do you write 'linearly'?

Post by cheekychook » July 10th, 2010, 12:13 am

I am so glad to hear that someone else out there line edits in reverse!
Image
http://www.karenstivali.com

Passionate Plume 1st Place Winner 2012 - ALWAYS YOU
Published with Ellora's Cave, Turquoise Morning Press & Samhain Publishing

User avatar
Quill
Posts: 1059
Joined: March 17th, 2010, 9:20 pm
Location: Arizona
Contact:

Re: Do you write 'linearly'?

Post by Quill » July 10th, 2010, 12:41 am

Linear like nibbling rows of corn on a cob, nibble nibble, forward, forward, then back to the beginning, and nibble nibble again. Not hopping around or eating the darned corn from both ends. But I'm spontaneous in other ways!

jfw
Posts: 21
Joined: July 9th, 2010, 11:42 am
Contact:

Re: Do you write 'linearly'?

Post by jfw » July 10th, 2010, 9:32 am

Yes I do. Basically, I start writing and found I've set up the characters to have some sort of event in the future, preferably an interesting one. Then I plod along chronologically with an eye to getting them to that event. In the meantime, there are smaller cycles of the same type in which little target events pop up that are stepping stones to the big one. The characters may not always cooperate and will often try to go into a different direction because I won't have them doing anything not in their "character", and I have to somehow get them back on track without making it look obvious. When I'm done and look back, the characters have stumbled through a serious of happenstances that managed to get them to the end of the novel as though concepts like "fate" or "destiny" actually exist.
This approach was influenced by something Joseph Campbell once said about how you go through life experiencing a series of accidents but when you look back, it all seems like some invisible hand guided your way. I think the job of the novelist is to be that hand.

GeeGee55
Posts: 173
Joined: February 19th, 2010, 11:01 pm
Contact:

Re: Do you write 'linearly'?

Post by GeeGee55 » July 10th, 2010, 12:09 pm

I write short stories linearly, but my novel I didn't. The novel came to me through feeling, dreams, ideas - all out of order. I had a multitude of scenes and events recorded and then had to sort them into some kind of plot. Not the easiest approach, no doubt about it, but it's the way it happened - and with the novel I do feel as if it's something that happened to me, not something I put into action.

Margo
Posts: 1712
Joined: April 5th, 2010, 11:21 am
Contact:

Re: Do you write 'linearly'?

Post by Margo » July 10th, 2010, 4:33 pm

cheekychook wrote:I am so glad to hear that someone else out there line edits in reverse!
I haven't tried it, but Don Maass recommends tossing your draft ms down a stairwell (or something of that nature) to scramble the page order and looking at each page in isolation for one round of revisions. A couple of writers have told me it works brilliantly for them, though it is just for one revision.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

Nomad0404
Posts: 29
Joined: May 14th, 2010, 9:31 am
Contact:

Re: Do you write 'linearly'?

Post by Nomad0404 » July 13th, 2010, 9:28 am

I write in scenes and then those scenes start to form the basis of the plot. Usually the whole thing starts with the MC or MCs and a pivotal moment in the book.

For example in my current WIP I first worked on the moment when George meets the Dragon and names him Spitfire.

The scene I currently have in my head involves an MC slowly emptying painkillers into a sink and then washing them away like he was washing his life away. That's it not sure where it's going or what sort of book it's going to be but I'll develop that into a few paragraphs and maybe it'll get left or maybe I'll see a scene with the MC in another part of the story and thing will move on from there.

My writing is not linear at all. Characters come and go, they get removed or replaced, ideas get reformed and the plot and story develop from there.

User avatar
AnimaDictio
Posts: 158
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 1:07 am
Contact:

Re: Do you write 'linearly'?

Post by AnimaDictio » July 14th, 2010, 7:19 pm

I write linearly, mostly. Ideas for later scenes occur to me. I set them aside. I like to sleep on all my ideas. I outline probably 75% of the novel but I never choose an ending ahead of time. And I refuse to use the first or eighth ending that occurs to me. I hate predictability

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest