The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
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Mira wrote:Wish I had a different process, but that's just me.
I'd suggest picking up a copy of James Scott Bell's book Plot and Structure, first because it's just an all around great book IMO, but also because there is a section near the end about planning and pantsing that includes hybrid techniques. You might find something there that is just enough pantser/just enough planner for you.
Margo - thanks for the suggestion! I'll mark it on my list.
This is an interesting discussion. I suspect there are as many ways to be a writer as there are.....writers. But it's very interesting to hear about other people's processes.
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It sure is, Mira. I thought planner and pantser would be pretty well defined. Turns out you can be both.
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As much as I would LOVE to be a planner, I'm a pantser all the way. The words just come when the pen is my hand. (I write by hand first) I takes a little longer, but it hasn't gotten me into serious trouble yet. *knock on wood* :D
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I'm a combination. I plan out the basic plot points beforehand, but once I sit down to write, I let the connections between them write themselves. Those connections rarely take the most direct routes.
My typical internal dialogue while writing goes something like this.
"Okay, this scene begins with her father arriving to celebrate her birthday, and ends with her kicking him out. What happens in between?"
"He gives her a ring!"
"Yeah, he...wait, what?"
"You heard me."
"But he always gives her a book. It's a tradition."
"Yes, but this year he gives her a ring and tells her it's because she's all grown up. That's part of why she feels so betrayed when he tells her she's still too young to leave the castle."
"Oh...and then, when he tells her, she can pull it off and throw it at him!"
"Exactly. And one of the stones can break off and roll into a crack. Trapped, just like her. Get it?"
"Yes! And then, during the reunion scene at the end of the book, he can give it back to her as a wedding present, repaired!"
*insert furious keyboard pounding here*
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Hmm, I thought I was a pantser. I would have sworn to it just moments ago but after reading all these comments, I realize I have more in common with the planners. My writing never meanders. I don't ever find myself having to rein things in.
For me, the whole point of writing is to evoke an emotional, spiritual or intellectual response from the reader. But mostly, I like the emotional stuff. I start with my own emotional experience (which comes from an idea, a book, a movie, real life, etc.) and began to wonder how I could translate that into words in such a way that others can share this feeling with me. Sure enough, a scene will pop into my head. And then another. And another. The book emanates from that because I keep asking myself the question, "why?"
I dreamed a scene once of God crying in a corner, angry sad and frustrated. And His similarly frustrated friend trying to console Him, but also convince Him to do something about it. And them arguing about what to do next. Then I started asking questions. Why would God cry? Why would He ever argue with anyone? Why would He be sitting in a corner? Who is this friend? Why are they sad?
I don't even start writing until I'm all "why'd" out. Of course, as I write, some of the answers change. And the "why's" come back. Of course, I organize details so that the story is credible. But I'm rarely surprised by a scene as I write it. I suppose it's because I'm writing in my mind before I'm writing with my fingers. By the time, I hit the keyboard, my creative juices are focused on word choice and style. The needs of the scene are clear in my head.
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AnimaDictio wrote:I dreamed a scene once of God crying in a corner, angry sad and frustrated. And His similarly frustrated friend trying to console Him, but also convince Him to do something about it. And them arguing about what to do next. Then I started asking questions. Why would God cry? Why would He ever argue with anyone? Why would He be sitting in a corner? Who is this friend? Why are they sad?
I think that is one of the most amazing plot bases I've ever heard!! I am so intrigued now... :)
Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson
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Well, I'm working on it now. I'll be around. I can keep you informed. :)
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Yeah, I also went "Now THAT is interesting." Your planning also sounds similar to mine. I get an idea, and then ask all the questions about it, and questions about the answers, and etc. It goes on until I feel I have enough answer to build a story out of it, with a solid background. Yep, I'm a planner, although I once tried the pantser way, without screwing up the whole thing. Only pace did not make it through (since the peak of action is 2/3 through the novel, and then you have character development).
"I do not think there is any thrill [...] like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything." -- Nikola Tesla
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