Saturday, October 3, 2015

how I write


With both Mirriam and Melody detailing their writing processes, I couldn't quite resist doing one of my own. I would, however, like to point out that just because this is what I do does not mean it's what I'd recommend, even to myself. It should, however, give you hope that no matter how you do it, the main thing is that you write.  :D 


First: A character or an idea. Or both. 

Contract to Time Travel started with me lamenting the fact that chickenpox was a torment that could not even be reasonably worked into a story (the anti-climactic idea of giving a villain chicken pox just...doesn't work). Of course, I then set out to prove myself wrong, and a snarky time traveler who pretty much lives for anti-climactically inserting common sense into dramatic moments sprung to life in my head. 

And it was Love started with me wondering about a character who was mentioned in a story I'd just written, Hope Sprang Up, and once I'd let myself wonder about her, multiple characters and their cultures began organizing themselves into a story. 

Hope Sprang Up, on the other hand, started from a phrase I scribbled in my notebook during class one day - figuring out what kind of character would say such a phrase made the story. 

My very first every completed novel started with me stealing a character my younger brother had created. XD



Second: More characters. 

Contract to Time Travel had a vague and nebulous storyline circling in my head until my genetically engineered soldiers showed up unexpectedly - that changed everything, and the rest of the story practically wrote itself whenever I sat down at a computer or with a notebook in my hands. 

Same with And it was Love. Not until Jaden Beorn showed up did the the plot actually come into being. 

Jim Boltair's story never got the gripping side characters he needed, which maybe is why I don't have plans to publish that story...


Third: A direction for the story.

This is probably a better descriptor than plot. Once I have the characters, I generally have some idea of the end game, or what I'll hope happens before the story ends. Whether or not I get there or get somewhere entirely different is always up in the air, but I at least have an idea to work toward pretty quickly. 
(And it can change drastically. If you saw some of the original sections I wrote for the 'near' the end of CTTT...ha.) But there's something the characters want, and I just need a little bit of an idea as to whether or not they ever get it.


Fourth: Hit the highlights.

My plotting mostly consists of random [exciting] scenes throughout the story appearing in my head and me writing them down and then filling in between those scenes as fast as I can so I can send them to my beta readers. XD The downside of this is that as I fill in, I get to know the characters better. 

It's particularly painful to write a scene where a character dies, then go back and write everything that leads up to that scene, falling in love with the character along the way, and yet knowing the entire time what's going to happen to them, while the scene you already wrote gets progressively more painful to think about. (Then again, I didn't know a particular character was going to die in CTTT, and I think that was worst of all - the dawning realization that I was going to have to let him die, when that had originally not at all been his fate.) 



Fifth: Don't write the ending.

I try to have some scenes near the ending - what I'm writing towards, like I said above - and of course the general direction I have in my brain...but if I absolutely know the ending and exactly how it's all coming together...I have a really hard time getting myself to write the story. :P Part of what I love about writing is figuring out how it's all going to work (or not work) out in the end, and if it's already all figured out, one of my main motivators (curiosity) is gone. 

Obviously, if I get the perfect ending lines I'm going to write them down, but I try not to think too hard about the ending until I'm almost there. 


Then...I just write. 

Music is usually my biggest inspiration...I'll hear a song, realize it's a particular character's theme, and suddenly understand them in a whole new way. Pinterest helps too, though, mostly if I've taken a break from a story and need to 'get back into the world,' or to keep track of details when I'm planning a sequel while writing the first book. (The rest of the time I think it just takes up my writing time...)
Fighting disorganization is usually a large part of it...at first I scribble down ideas in the word document, but eventually I have so many pieces and the story itself is so long, I move all the random ideas and plot details (HOW old is this character and when did they start doing such-and-such...) into their own document. And I can never find details when I want them.


So that's how I write. Basically,


How do you write? XD

3 thoughts shared:

Jack said...

You're writing sounds like a wild ride where you just hold on until the end...though I am coming to think all writing is like that...

Miss Melody Muffin said...

Excellent advice there at the beginning, m'dear.

'a snarky time traveler who pretty much lives for anti-climactically inserting common sense into dramatic moments' AHAHA, MOST ACCURATE DESCRIPTION EVER.

Genetically engineered soldiers... *squeal* Because apparently, I can't NOT squeal whenever they are mentioned. :)

*stares at you over the whole 'not knowing you-know-who was going to die in CTTT'* Well, I maybe forgive you even more now.

Whatever your process is (or isn't) KEEP DOING IT. Seriously. :)

Katherine Sophia said...

that's usually pretty accurate, Jack...is yours about the same? XD

heheh, it's Ellian for you, Melody. XD
:( yes please...it /wasn't/ supposed to happen...but there was literally nothing else that would have gotten the attention of the rest... *goes off mourning*
XD thanky.

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