Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

8

I decide what should be written next only when I am writing that. This called being a "pants writer" or a "pantser," meaning that you write by the seat of your pants. It's completely valid as a workflow, IF you are then willing to go back to the beginning when you're finished and edit with a firm, even harsh hand. Just because it spews out of you ...


5

It sounds to me like you have been building a world, not developing a story. A story, in the bestselling sense of the word, is about characters who overcome obstactles and grow in the process. I miss that aspect in your description of your project. Without reading anything, it is hard to nail down the problems your aquaintance saw, or recommend what to do ...


5

I firmly believe that you should try both approaches and experience yourself what works best for you. Would you marry someone that you have never seen? Would you sign up for a job, or employ a new worker, without some practical probation? Would you buy a car without testdriving it? Would you decide on a lifelong diet without trying at least one meal? Do you ...


5

Try plotting backwards. The writers of House, MD often worked this way. They figured out some esoteric disease or ailment (or perhaps something not so esoteric but easy to confuse with other problems) and then worked backwards to lay red herrings and misdirection. So you have the ending you want (heroine gets macguffin). Work backwards from there. Each ...


5

I don't believe there really are long ideas or short ideas. Instead, there are just ideas. Even if you say that your plot is very detailed, it doesn't really matter. Instead, it all depends upon how you write the scenes. Here's the entire Wizard Of Oz (by Frank Baum) story. The year is 1935. The place, a dirt road, somewhere in Kansas. Dorothy, ...


4

It really comes down to two things, and nearly all professional writers recommend both of them: read a lot, and write even more. Just like anything else, you need to practice. Practice, practice, practice. You need to develop your own unique voice, and the only way to do that is through trial and failure. See what works, see what doesn't, and if you ...


4

First I will be discouraging, then I will be encouraging, then I will be fatherly. OK? 1) Judging by the text of your question, your writing skills are not (currently) up to the task of writing an epic 4-volume novel (which is what you are proposing). Your writing is rife with grammatical errors (not just typos) and other problems. Sorry to be blunt, but ...


3

I use lots of words for different parts of the work: planning plotting researching brainstorming practicing warming up sketching outlining procrastinating ;-) I don't know of a single word that covers all of that.


3

This XKCD strip shows a visualization approach for tracking character interactions -- who's with whom when. It works pretty well even with a complex plot with many characters (one of the examples is Lord of the Rings). While I haven't tried this myself, in your shoes I would try a similar approach, adding lines for the artifacts and themes you want to ...


3

I don't remember where I read it, but there is a story about a sculpting teacher who did an experiment on a class. He divided the class in two, and told one half that they should spend the entire semester focusing on one pot or vase, and that they would be graded on the quality of that one object. The other half was told that they would be graded purely on ...


3

This fits firmly into the category of "do what works for you." I find that the more I plan ahead, the less likely I'm going to reach my destination. I work best when I have an open story ahead, and my world and its characters are allowed to grow in their own ways. This has the added benefit of allowing me to be surprised a bit by my own writing. However, ...


3

The relationship between planning and doing is a bit tricky, isn't it? I used to have a great deal of trouble with this, too. In my case, it was because I planned things that I didn't really know how to write. I would envision scenes in which someone dealt with a difficult, emotional situation that I have never experienced; scenes in which my characters ...


3

Why does the message have to be in English? Messages that are meant to be understood across languages are usually encoded visually. Think of the pictograms used to direct people on airports, or the comic-book-like saftey instructions in the nets at the backs of airplane seats. Or think of making drinking gestures. If I wanted to communicate a message to ...


3

The original Tarzan book deals with this situation. His parents had several years' worth of picture and children's books, which they intended to use to educate him while they did whatever they were doing in Africa (which I forget) before they were marooned by pirates. [edit: Then they both died while Tarzan was still a baby.] So, yeah, they had a ...


3

If you want to write a noble character, you have to first understand what nobility is about. Your comment – "To convey a more finer upper class breeding." – conveys to me that you don't actually think that nobels are any different from us common folk, but arrogantly believe so themselves. The fact is that individuals from noble families know their lineage a ...


2

There's nothing wrong with writing off the cuff: trying to keep written conversation flowing nicely by a version of stream-of-consciousness i.e. if you type reasonably fast its almost like "recording" your own imagination-dialogue. Done well it makes for excellent material - well-paced and "natural" on read-back. The rub comes when you've finished first ...


2

Have a look in your local area for writers groups. Most communities have them and local libraries will usually be able to give you information. Having a network of people that can give you honest, constructive feedback is a resource that every writer should have. Make sure you read lots, too. Reading in the genre that you want to write in will help, but so ...


2

We're living in the Internet era. Take advantage of the Internet. So, go check websites. Writers SE is one of the most helpful sites I've encounter (I won't go into details with it since you're already here). The other one is Scribophile, which does exactly what you're requesting. And more. Here's a screenshot from my own account (these are feedback from ...


2

Your age has nothing to do with your problems, and you need the same things any beginning writers needs, at whatever age. Therefore, the basic answer to your question is: Stop viewing yourself as age-handicapped and start looking for solutions to your writing problems. All of the problems you have raised in your question have been asked and answered many ...


2

Here's an idea: Make Your Story Available Get a google drive account. It's 100% free. write your story and save it on your google drive. share the document via URL -- it's easy to do -- then you can give the URL to people you want to read your story. Gather Feedback Next, you use Google Drive to create a Feedback Form. You just say, New Form and add ...


2

Here are some possibilities: As you play around with the premise and the theme before mapping out the story, look for twists in the premise and the theme. As you consider endings, look for twist endings. As you map out the events that lead to the ending, look for ways to make your chosen ending a twist. That is, think of events that will lead the reader to ...


2

There are really two distinct challenges to writing: emotional technical Emotional Challenge If you are stuck emotionally, then you may feel as if everything you write is just a waste of time. If this is your challenge, then you simply must change the way you perceive the writing that you do. Not Writing Is The Only Failure Instead of considering ...


2

If you're after a medieval/renaissance style, there is of course Shakespeare, Marlowe and Bacon to draw from, but bear in mind these guys were writing for stage & so in a heightened style, often employing poetic devices that a person speaking in real life wouldn't use. Project Gutenberg has a collection of the love letters of King Henry VIII, which gives ...


1

I think you deserve some credit for being able plan and envision your story. When it comes to writing, you can be more of a Plotter, someone who outlines beforehand, or a Pantser, who is someone led by their gut feeling. A Google search yields some hefty results like this article that can give you the down low on how both approaches can help you get the best ...


1

Do you mind to step out of the Realm Of Ordinary for a while? If you have not yet done this before - I suggest you to try to spend some time living in the world you're creating with your writing. Immerse in it, feel it. Might be helpful. I'm saying that because I've also been a science student in my youth. And scientific thinking tends to be analytic, not ...


1

I come from a similar situation as yours. I guess I understand what you are going through. From my experience... You read few great fantasy series and loved to put yourself in those characters and role played few of them (in your own world aka mind, at least). You have a great concept to build the story on (Research students in general love to explore a ...


1

I can relate to you. I started my journey in the writing world because of a story that couldn't quite leave me. I feel the weight of the responsibility to deliver it, to write it and breathe life to it. And I did. But not in the way I thought I would, which is by writing a novel or book about it. I didn't write a novel because I couldn't quite make it ...


1

There are LOTS of ways to structure a book. Depending on what you're writing, there may or may not be any expected frameworks. Long-Form Fiction, such as speculative fiction novels, movie scripts, and semi-fanciful "alternate histories" usually progress lineally along one or more character's perspectives along a three-act progression, though more acts are ...


1

I'd call that development. It covers everything in Dale's excellent list and dmm's couch time.


1

I will just share what I usually do whenever an idea sparks. I hope it works for you. Just imagine they make a movie out of it. Personify your ideas with well known celebrity faces, and yeah you can possibly see a movie unfold. Either do this with celebrities or get yourself into the shoes of your character(s). To me, writing down ideas seems a bit ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible