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 Post subject: Specific Writing Technique
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:46 pm 
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Age: 09 May 1989
Is there any specific process you have gone through to try to better your writing? Have you noticed a problem (whether it's over analyzing the first draft or etc) that's stifled your writing to a certain extent, and what have you done to help you move past that?

I was talking to a friend about writing the other day, and they said they have tried writing, but they over analyzed the first draft so much they gave up. Hence prompting this thought and question. ;)

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All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king

J. R. R. Tolkien


My favourite quote: "God will give His kindness for you to use when your own runs out."

Pippin's Waggy Tales

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 Post subject: Re: Specific Writing Technique
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:58 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:01 am
Posts: 338
Location: *taps your shoulder*
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Age: 19 Nov 1991
I would venture to guess that your friend did what I did in that they probably wanted to write something really grand, epic, or intricate but didn't have any real guidance on how to write a great story. Ironically, this sort of problem for me was actually a lack of planning. I tried to get a general outline together (which I completed and is now totally useless), and then I set out to follow that plan and just fill in the details. I was even pretty disciplined in writing a small amount everyday. The problem that I eventually ran into was that even with all of my planning I still ran into issues because I didn't have a good plan. This became evident when I started writing and getting stumped on how I would payoff certain setups and more importantly why I had any of these setups and payoffs to start with. It all was because my plan was crappy. Thus I got sick of planning because I thought it wasn't helping.

I have found since then that I needed more training in story structure and story telling. I have read a number of books on story structure (mainly aimed at film writers, but the concepts hold for anything you write) and I am currently following the advice in "The Anatomy of Story" by John Truby. It has a lot of great theoretical and practical advice that isn't too cookie cutter so it lets your story evolve as you go through all of the writing exercises. There are plenty of other great books to try, but that is the one that worked for me.

The main thing is to seek help from the professionals early on. If you can solve the majority of the problems in your story before you even write a single chapter, then you will have a lot more confidence going forward knowing that your plan is a winner.

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 Post subject: Re: Specific Writing Technique
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:13 am 
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Location: Following my Father through the wilderness of sojourning.
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I strongly avoid reading my drafts before I have a full one. In the process of writing the story, the pass writings will develop a great deal, as will your writing skill. It can be a great distraction and discouragement to read it before its due time, so I at least let it set for a month or so before I reread it. It gives me fresh eyes, better for spotting typos.

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You can't spell grin without ̶gRIN
Words are my ̶bread and ̶butter.
http://unshakablegirl.com/
http://www.ravelry.com/designers/kitra-skene

Haud Retene Haud Reverte

All resemblance to persons, people, friends, relatives, quotes, cultures, artificial intelligences, inside jokes, pets, unclaimed personalities, sentient objects, extra-terrestrials, inter-terrestrials, and draperies living, dead, undead, or comatose in any of my work are purely coincidental, incidental, circumstantial, inadvertent, unplanned, unforeseen, and unintentional. There's seriously no way I was referring to you. Honest.

The story so far:
Birthright: Eleventh chapter pending. 28280 words.
Heritage: First chapter drafted.
Legacy: Character and plot development stage.
Get a feel for the land. Visit Lor-Amar today!

Other novels on the brain:
Quicksilver
Shen'oh Story
Crusoe's Star
War Blazer
Seven Arts Story
The Queen's Knave
Polarians
Exile Realms
All Librarians Are Secret Agents


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 Post subject: Re: Specific Writing Technique
PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:24 am 
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Location: Southeast Michigan
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Age: 24 Feb 1987
I've noticed two dangerous extremes that I have fallen into at various points in my life: diving in and writing without a plan or any forethought (leading to two handwritten manuscripts of about 3,000 and 6,000 words that I abruptly abandoned when I realized that both of them weren't going anywhere because I'd made my protagonist too-obviously invincible), and planning and planning at such great length that I never get down to actually writing. (The latter is the danger I need to be wary of now; both the scope of my Shine Cycle and my training as a technical writer have hammered home to me how important it is to plan before writing.)

Going back in the middle of a draft to revise before finishing is something that pretty much every book on writing I've read (that isn't obviously wrong on pretty much every point---a caveat I have to add now that I've read one arguing that planning of any sort is always a waste of time) has recommended avoiding, because you'll tend to keep revising and revising and never finish the draft.

Heinlein was famous for never revising (his short stories, at least; I don't know about his novels) unless an editor asked him to make specific changes. But while I think every author would like to be able to write salable stories in one draft every time, and it's a goal that's worth striving for, very few of us are that good yet. :)

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Originally inspired to write by reading C.S. Lewis, but can be as perfectionist as Tolkien or as obscure as Charles Williams.

Author of A Year in Verse, a self-published illustrated collection of poetry: available in paperback and on Kindle.

My blog includes the following "departments":
  • Background on the Shine Cycle, my planned fantasy series, spanning over two centuries of an imagined world's history, several universes (including various alternate histories and our own future), and the stories of dozens of characters (many from our world).
  • Strategic Primer, a strategy game I'm developing, played by email, assisted by programs I'm developing. The current campaign (moving slowly, less than one turn a month) always needs more players.
  • My poetry.
  • Miscellaneous essays.


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 Post subject: Re: Specific Writing Technique
PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:11 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:36 pm
Posts: 4214
Location: Following my Father through the wilderness of sojourning.
Sex: Female
Are you a published author?: Yes
Age: 24 Jun 1921
I remember the naive era in which I believed I could write a novel in one draft... Oh, to be young.

_________________
You can't spell grin without ̶gRIN
Words are my ̶bread and ̶butter.
http://unshakablegirl.com/
http://www.ravelry.com/designers/kitra-skene

Haud Retene Haud Reverte

All resemblance to persons, people, friends, relatives, quotes, cultures, artificial intelligences, inside jokes, pets, unclaimed personalities, sentient objects, extra-terrestrials, inter-terrestrials, and draperies living, dead, undead, or comatose in any of my work are purely coincidental, incidental, circumstantial, inadvertent, unplanned, unforeseen, and unintentional. There's seriously no way I was referring to you. Honest.

The story so far:
Birthright: Eleventh chapter pending. 28280 words.
Heritage: First chapter drafted.
Legacy: Character and plot development stage.
Get a feel for the land. Visit Lor-Amar today!

Other novels on the brain:
Quicksilver
Shen'oh Story
Crusoe's Star
War Blazer
Seven Arts Story
The Queen's Knave
Polarians
Exile Realms
All Librarians Are Secret Agents


Top
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